Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 4
Terming the 2017 Rules allowing confiscation of animals of traders/transporters during trial in cases under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as contrary to the law, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to either withdraw or amend them, else it will stay their operation.
“Animals are a source of livelihood. We are not talking about pet dogs and cats. People live on the basis of their animals. You can’t confiscate them and keep them before the man is convicted. You either withdraw it or we will stay it,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde told Additional Solicitor General Jayant K Sud who represented the Centre.
The Bench was hearing a petition filed by Buffalo Traders Welfare Association challenging the validity of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The rules allowed the authorities to seize vehicles used in cattle transportation and send the animals to gaushalas or cow shelters.
“We are trying to tell you that the section is very clear that only the person who is convicted can lose the animal. You either amend the rule or we will stay it. We cannot have a situation where the rule is running contrary to the express provision of the Act,” the Bench said as Sud sought to defend the rules, saying they were notified in view of atrocities being committed on animals.
The Bench, which has already issued notice to the Centre, posted the matter for further hearing on January 11 after Sud sought time to seek instructions.
The petitioners contended they were being forcibly deprived of their cattle which were sent to ‘gaushalas’ under the impugned rules.