Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by the petitioner challenging the impugned notification dated 10-02-2023 issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India (‘AWBI’) (respondent 1) by which the celebration of ‘Cow Hug Day’ has been withdrawn, Prathiba M Singh, J., did not interfere with the petition opining that the celebration of any particular event by the Animal Welfare Board is purely in the domain of policy of the said Board and the Government.

On 06-02-2023, a notification was issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India to the effect that ‘Cow Hug Day’ would be celebrated on 14-02-2023. However, before the said date, on 10-02-2023 itself the said notification was withdrawn. The notification dated 06-02-2023 stated that

“We all know that the Cow is the backbone of Indian culture and rural economy, sustains our life, represent cattle wealth and biodiversity. It is known as “Kamdhenu” and “Gaumata” because of its nourishing nature like mother, the giver of all providing riches to humanity. In view of the immense benefit of the cow, hugging with cow will bring emotional richness hence will increase our individual & collective happiness. Therefore, all the cow lovers may also celebrate the February 14 as Cow Hug Day keeping in mind the importance of mother Cow and make life happy and full of positive energy. This issues with the approval of competent authority and on the direction of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.”

However, the Court held that the celebration of any event by the Animal Welfare Board is purely in the domain of policy of the said Board and the Government. The same does not deserve interference in a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

[Kolisetty Shiva Kumar v Animal Welfare Board of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1372, decided on 03-03-2023]

Judgment By: Justice Prathiba M Singh.

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Sravan Kumar Karnam, Mr. Mohit K Jakhar, Mr. P. Santhosh Kumar and Ms. Medha Singh, Advocates for the Petitioner;

Mr. Chetan Sharma, ASG With Mr. Ajay Digpaul, CGSC alongwith Mr. Amit Gupta, Mr. Kamal Digpaul and Ms. Swati Kwatra, Advocates for the UOI.

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