The Gujarat High Court on Thursday took a dim view of the failure of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad and other authorities to curb the menace of stray cattle in the city and other districts [Mustak Hussain Mehndi Hussain Kadri v. Jagdeep Narayan Singh, IAS]..A bench of Justices Ashutosh Shastri and Hemant Prachchhak also pulled up the Commissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the Principal Secretary of the State who were personally present in the court.When the matter was called out, the Court asked the Commissioner of Police why no action is being taken against hooligans who beat up police officers when they try to implement court orders to curb the cattle menace. It observed,"State has reposed faith in you. Even residents have confidence in you. Officers are being beaten up by hooligans. What steps are you going to take? It is an alarming situation that no officer is allowed to curb this activity.".The judges further underscored that Gujarat, being one of the safest States in the country, was becoming lawless on account of the authorities' apathy. It highlighted daily news reports indicating deaths of citizens on account of the cattle menace and traffic issues."The stars on your shoulder are a sign of great responsibility you are shouldering, that is of maintaining law and order. You are not less than a soldier protecting citizens on borders and you are protecting them (citizens) within boundaries. But what message are we sending to the society? We have seen 10 to 15 bikers armed with sticks roam around the police van and the police ran away. Is no rule of law is prevailing in the State?" the judges asked the Commissioner of Police.The Bench further pointed out that the affidavits filed by the State and various departments indicate that the situation has improved, but the harsh reality is revealed by news reports on the issue."Even a Deputy Commissioner of the AMC is attacked. What is this? We cannot tolerate all this. Few hooligans are frustrating the entire implementation process and you are doing nothing. Let us be very clear, we have already passed appropriate orders and it is very easy for us to frame charges (of Contempt of Court) but we have deferred it only on request of Advocate General."The Court, therefore, asked the Commissioner of Police to take the sternest possible action against the wrongdoers..The AMC Chief was asked whether the civic body was actually monitoring the situation daily, as claimed in its affidavit.Further, the Court asked the Principal Secretary to focus not only on what is happening in Ahmedabad, but also in other cities where stray cattle was a problem."We will give you one week's time. If there is no improvement in the situation we will proceed with our orders, which we have already prepared...We are appealing you at this stage, but in future if there is no improvement, we will proceed with our orders that have been deferred on request of Mr AG," the Bench made it clear..Meanwhile, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi along with government pleader Manisha Luvkumar-Shah told the Court that the State is seriously working on measures to curb the menace of stray cattle."We are considering if certain spaces outside cities could be made available for such stray cattle. Also, a kind of a survey on who owns how many animals etc is in the pipeline. Please give us some time, we will work on it," the AG assured the Court.He urged the Bench to hear the matter after the Diwali vacations. However, the Court clarified that it will hear the matter again on November 6 to see if there is any improvement..The Court was hearing a contempt petition over non-compliance with its directions in a 2018 judgment. The directions were passed in a public interest litigation highlighting the poor quality of roads in the State, as well as the cattle menace and parking problems in Ahmedabad.The contempt petition was filed by Mustak Hussain Mehndi Hussain Kadri through Advocate Amit Panchal.The petition mentioned that the different directions given by the Court in 2018 with respect to proper rehabilitation of stray cattle, better roads and traffic injunctions, were not complied with till date.