Delhi HC seeks reply from zoo authorities as PIL raises safety issue

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response from the central and the city zoo authorities on a PIL seeking directions to them to ensure safety and security of people who visit the zoo after a youth was mauled to death by a tiger in its enclosure here.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 26, 2014, 16:07 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response from the central and the city zoo authorities on a PIL seeking directions to them to ensure safety and security of people who visit the zoo after a youth was mauled to death by a tiger in its enclosure here.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice to the Director of Delhi Zoo, Central Zoo Authority and Commissioner of Delhi Police and sought their reply by October 29, saying that the matter "requires consideration".

The bench, which was hearing the PIL, filed in wake of the death of 20-year-old Maqsood in the Delhi Zoo after he fell into a white tiger's enclosure on September 23, asked the petitioner to involve tiger conservationist Valmik Thapar for his suggestions on the issues raised in the petition.

The PIL, filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik, alleged that it was criminal negligence on the part of the zoo authorities because of which Maqsood lost his life and sought direction from the court to the concerned authorities to put all contingent and emergent equipments in place and ensure the safety and security of the zoo visitors.

"Life of a young person has been lost just because the authorities, on whom there is a responsibility to take protection measures in the Zoo, have failed to discharge their duties and/or they have no emergency/contingency plans to rescue the people from such untoward incident," it said.

It also sought a direction to the authorities to file a report on the incident and compensate the bereaved family.

"Maqsood was sitting in front of the tiger for about 15 minutes but nobody from the Zoo Authority came to rescue him and ultimately, the Tiger being a Tiger, attacked upon an unfortunate Maqsood and mauled him to death.

"It is a classic case of criminal negligence and it could be very well assessed as to who is responsible for the incident but the police have registered a case of death by negligence against some unknown persons and it is feared that like many other cases, this too would be closed without ensuring any action and steps for avoiding such incidents in future," the PIL said.

It also said that such an incident reveals "how unsafe the visitors are", adding that the guidelines prescribed by Central Zoo Authority are not being followed by the National Zoological Park.