Writ Petition No.25219 of 2012
M/s Qureshi Internationl, rep. by its Managing Partner, Yousuf Mujahid.
The Director of Factories,A.P., Hyderabad, and others
Counsel for petitioner: Sri L.V. Uma Maheshwar Rao
Counsel for Respondents : G.P. for Industries, for RRs 1 to 3 Sri P. Raghavender Reddy, for RRs 4 & 5
G.P for Revenue for RRs 6 to 9
G.P. for Home for RRs 10 & 11
Sri O. Manohar Reddy, for R12
The petitioner is partnership firm, involved in the activity of export and import. It feels aggrieved by the steps taken by the authorities of the Revenue Department in demolishing the foundation laid for compound wall around Ac.9.33 guntas of land in Sy.No.25 of Raipalli Tanda, Parvatapur Village, Zaheerabad Mandal, Medak District.
The petitioner submits that it acquired Ac.9.33 guntas of land in Raipalli Tanda, and made applications to various authorities, seeking permission for establishment of a factory for manufacturing frozen buffalo and sheep meat with installed capacities of 36 and 6.5 metric tonnes per day, respectively. Permissions are said to have been accorded by various authorities, including the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the Grampanchayat. It is stated that the preliminary work was commenced, and at that stage, demolition is resorted to, without issuing any notice. Mention is made to certain proceedings issued by the Commissioner of Industries and the District Collector, Medak District at Sanga Reddy, the 6th respondent herein.
Heard Sri L.V. Uma Maheshwar Rao, learned counsel for the petitioner, learned Government Pleaders for Industries, Revenue, Home, Sri P. Raghavender Reddy, learned counsel for respondents 4 and 5, and Sri O. Manohar Reddy, learned counsel for respondent No.12.
This writ petition, in fact, helps as an eye-opener for the Government, and the public, at large, on highly sensitive and important issues, that have a bearing upon the economy, environment, and some times, even the survival of the livestock.
Be it on account of the indifference on the part of the Government on such issues, or the desperate attempt of businessmen to earn money through whatever means, Medak District, which derives its name as rice bowl (methukusema), has become the bowl of beaf and slaughter capital of the State. The existing modern abettors have contributed to the rich profits for the owners thereof, but have successfully made the livestock in Medak and surrounding districts, almost to vanish. Gone are the days, when proud possession of villages used to be domestic animals, such as, cows, bullocks buffaloes, sheep, goats, domestic birds etc.
The existing abettors can be kept functional only by killing hundreds of such livestock, each hour, and thousands, each day. Unfortunately, the growth of the livestock is in negative figures. The Government is very happy with the income it is getting in the form of various taxes and duties on the beaf and meat, as it is with the income from intoxicants.
The petitioner was basically a trader in skin and left over products of buffaloes, got encouraged by the existing scenario, and made his efforts to establish a modern abettor/slaughter house of his own. The proposed capacity of his factory is 60 cattle, and 150 sheep per hour. He submitted an application before the concerned authority of the Central Government, which have simply acknowledged it. Applications were also made to the Commissioner of Industries, A.P. Pollution Control Board, Director of Factories and the Grampanchayat, Raipalli Tanda, Medak District. The term of the Sarpanch of the Grampanchayat expired recently, and no elections were held. That became handy for the petitioner, and he approached the Panchayat Secretary, the 4th respondent herein. A letter dated 28-05-2012 was issued by the 4th respondent, stating that the Grampanchayat has no objection for establishment of "factory".
The A.P. Pollution Control Board accorded its approval through proceedings dated 08-05-2012. The Director of Factories approved the plans, through proceedings dated 21-02-2012.
It is important to note that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry Department, New Delhi, addressed a letter dated 10-04- 2012 to the petitioner, stating that the petitioner has to take any steps for sourcing of raw material. The petitioner has also obtained a certificate of conversion of land use from the Revenue Divisional Officer. Thereafter, it started steps for construction, initially a compound wall.
In the name of industrial development, the topography of Medak District was changed to such an extent, that a major portion of it has become unfit for inhabitation of human beings, and animals in any way, have been submitted to the abettors.
The villagers realized the fraud played by the Panchayat Secretary and took the matter to the District Collector, the
6th respondent. It must be said to the credit of the 6th respondent that he took immediate steps, called for a report from the Mandal Parishad Development Officer and issued proceedings dated
24-07-2012, cancelling the permission accorded by the Special Administrative Officer of the Grampanchayat, the
5th respondent. Therefore, the very basis for the petitioner to start the industry disappeared. The proceedings issued by the 6th respondent were not challenged by the petitioner, yet. The Commissioner of Industries, the 2nd respondent, who exhibited over enthusiasm in helping the petitioner to secure all permissions, woke up in the matter and addressed letter dated 27-07-2012, requiring the petitioner to identify alternative location and a modified IEM from the Government of India. Even this is not challenged.
In India, and particularly, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, it is difficult to imagine life in a village, without the existence of animals, such as the bullocks, cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats. Rural life is interdependent upon such animals. Unfortunately, on account of shortsighted policies of the State and greed of the businessmen, serious threat has come to the very existence of the livestock. The situation has reached such serious proportions, that the Ongole Breed, which was a pride of the State, is facing extinction in India, even while it is grown as a best source of meat in other countries. Cow, which figures next after mother, and gives the milk, a source of energy for children and adults alike, just by eating gross, is now looked upon as a raw material for slaughter houses.
On account of phenomenal profits earned by the modern slaughter houses, they are prepared to purchase such animals at higher cost. Poor farmers are tempted to sell them, driven by their indebtedness and worries. Added to this, theft of animals is on the rampage. The cost of milk, naturally increased manifold. Agriculture has almost becoming secondary even in villages. A rural economy, which flourished even during alien regimes, has slowly become paralyzed, after the country became independent.
Successive Governments have proclaimed their policy to make villages, free of huts. Cattle sheds unfortunately are mostly in the huts. Obviously not to stand in the way of the Government, which is determined to make villages, huts free, the farmers have also chosen to forego the huts as well as animals. Separate ministry is created for protection of environment by diversity, etc. On the one hand, hundreds of crores are spent to protect handful tigers and lions, and on the other hand, phenomenal income is earned in the form of taxes and duties by giving licences liberally, for killing hundreds of cows and buffaloes, each minute and export of the meat. The results are not difficult to imagine. If a country feels that the income derived by it by selling meat would add to its economy, one can safely conclude that it is drifting away from the values of nature, ecology and economy, and it is a matter of time, that it would perish. This Courts feels that time has come where a serious re-look must be had, to whatever has taken place so far.
The 4th respondent obviously under pressure from the villagers and officials, has come forward with the plea that no permission was issued at all. If he happens to be the same person, who issued the permission earlier, proceedings must be initiated against him,
so that officials like him do not make such misadventure. A Panchayat Secretary should not have taken such a major decision, when there is no elected body. Further, the Commissioner of Industries must ensure that no more abettors are constructed in Medak District and grant of permissions for establishment of such abettors in other places must be dependent upon the population of livestock in the concerned district.
Therefore, while dismissing the writ petition, this Court directs that,
a) no more permissions shall be accorded for establishment of abettors in Medak District, having regard to the capacity of the existing ones;
b) Whenever an application is made for establishment of abettors in any other district, the same shall be considered by the concerned authorities, and in particular, the Grampanchayats, only when the population of the cows/buffaloes exceeds 10% and that of sheep exceeds, 20% of the human population in the district, as a unit; to be certified by the Head of the Animal Husbandry Department of the District and countersigned by the District Collector.
c) The authorities shall also insist on establishment and maintenance of breeding centres for production of the animals of the concerned category and the abettors shall function only after adequate raw material/livestock is produced.
This arrangement shall be tentative, till the Government frames its own guidelines, in this regard. It shall be open to the petitioner to take necessary steps, as indicated by the Commissioner of Industries, through his letter dated 27-07-2012, subject to the above.
The miscellaneous petition filed in this writ petition also shall stand disposed of. There shall be no order as costs.
_______________________L. NARASIMHA REDDY, J.