HC directs SPCA to take custody of hippo confined with circus
January 22, 2021  16:11
Representational image
Representational image
The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal to immediately take the 9-year-old hippopotamus who has been illegally kept by the Asiad Circus management and place it in the zoo. 

The high court also issued non-bailable warrants against the proprietor of Asiad Circus, whose licence had been revoked by the authorities in 2017, to ensure his presence at the next hearing on April 15. 

Justice Prathiba M Singh noted that despite repeated directions, the proprietor of the circus Riazuddin Khan has failed to take a stand on the issue and has not disclosed the location of the male hippopotamus. Delhi SPCA to immediately take steps for seizure of hippopotamus from the circus or any other person. 

Security and assistance shall be provided by the police to the officials of SPCA team going for seizure of the animal, the court said, asking SPCA to file a report after taking action. 

It also directed the high court registry to give default notice to Khan's advocate, who vakalatnama was on record as no one appeared to represent him in the case.

The court said if the hippopotamus is seized, it be temporarily placed in Delhi Zoo and if the animal is recovered from some other place and there is problem in transportation, he shall be placed in the local zoo there. 
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