NEW DELHI: Being at loggerheads with the union ministry of environment and forests over issues related to allowing bull taming sport of Jallikattu and others, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) chairman Major General (retd) Dr R M Kharb has resigned from his post citing bad health and seemingly issues with the ministry.
In an email to AWBI members, Kharb, whose term was to end in February 2017, said that he has sent his resignation to Secretary, MoEF&CC on December 23. The ministry has accepted his resignation and nominated the Director General of Forests & Special Secretary in the environment ministry as AWBI Chairman from December 24, 2016 to February 28, 2017.
“I would also like to share with you that my old injury to lower back (slipped disc) has got aggravated due to a sudden slip fall and I have been advised complete rest by my doctor. In view of above I am not in a position to discharge responsibilities of AWBI Chairman,” he said in the email.
Hinting at tiff with ministry, Kharb further said: “Moreover, lately for some time I have not been feeling very comfortable as Chairman due the reasons well known to you all. It is also time for change to bring in a more dynamic person as chairman as I have been on the scene for far too long. Therefore I have decided to resign from AWBI and have forwarded my resignation to Secretary, MoEF&CC.”
A board member said that Kharb was unhappy with the working in the ministry and it was one of reasons for leaving the job. He was the first veterinarian to have been appointed as AWBI Chairperson in the last 50 years history of the Board.
The AWBI under Kharb has approached the Supreme Court against Centre’s notification to allow Jallikattu in January this year. The apex court has pulled up the environment ministry for issuing notification and ordered that ban will continue.
Prakash Javadekar led ministry in March 2016 had issued show cause notice to AWBI questioning locus stand it has on the matter. There have been other incidents where AWBI and ministry were in disagreement.
The ministry’s move to remove AWBI from CPCSEA, a committee under the ministry to ensure that animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering before during experiments, was also opposed by the board. Kharb had also shot off a letter to environment ministry asking for restoring board on the committee.