Delhi High Court: In a PIL filed by Scouts and Guides for Animals and Birds ‘(petitioner'), a registered Trust represented by Naresh Kadyan alleging transportation of camels into the State of Delhi from Rajasthan in violation of the statutory provisions as contained under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, a Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ., and Subramonium Prasad J. studied the status report filed by Union of India (‘respondent') and concluded that transport of camel has to take place strictly in consonance with the statutory provisions governing the field. It further clarified that the respondents shall ensure strict compliance of the amendment to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The Transport of Animals) Rules, 2020 while transporting the camels in future also for the purpose of their participation in Republic Day Parade, or any other purpose.
The petitioner has stated in the writ petition that almost 100 camels are brought every year in goods transport vehicles to Delhi violating the statutory provisions, and therefore, action should be initiated for safe transport of camels against the persons who are involved in transport of camels.
The Court noted that the Border Security Force while transporting the camels issues an Expression of Interest (EOI) providing all minute details in respect of the vehicle in which the animals can be transported. The animals are being transported in specialized vehicles and four camels in sitting position along with accessories and fodder are transported in one vehicle.
The EOI placed on record makes it very clear that there is enough space in the vehicle which is being used for transport of camels and the BSF has taken all precautionary measures to ensure that the camels are not subjected to cruelty.
The Court further noted that the Amendment to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The Transport of Animals) Rules, 2020 inserted a new chapter, namely, Chapter V A which specifically provides for Transport of Camels.
Thus, the Court remarked that UOI was fair enough in stating that the transportation of camels took place as per the statutory provisions and no violation of any statutory provision took place in respect of the transportation of camels and in future too, they will strictly follow the SOP framed by National Research Centre of Camel, Bikaner.
The Court directed the Union of India to ensure that the statutory provisions as contained in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 are not violated while transporting camels.
The Court further directed the Union of India, the AWBI, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways as well as the BSF to ensure strict compliance of the SOP read with the Rules governing the field in the matter of transport of camels.
[Scouts and Guides for Animals and Birds v. Union of India, WP (C) No 2045 of 2022, decided on 30-08-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner- Mr. Ankur Bhasin, Advocate
For Union of India- Mr. Rajesh Gogna, CGSC with Mr.Vinod Tiwari and Ms.Priya Singh, Advocate for respondents 1, 2 & 4/ UOI. Mr. Rishikesh Kumar, ASC with Ms. Sheenu Priya & Mr.Muhammad Zaid, Advocates for respondent 3.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.