meghalaya high court

Meghalaya High Court: In a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) pertaining to the enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 (‘the Rules’) in the State of Meghalaya, the Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee, C.J. and B. Bhattacharjee, J. directed the State to indicate the measures taken for setting up local bodies in terms of the said Rules.

In the matter at hand, a PIL was instituted for the enforcement of the Rules framed by the Union in terms of Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The petitioner brought the Court’s attention to Rule 8 of the said Rules which provides for “Additional precaution to be taken regarding animal markets in border area”.

Regarding the objections raised by the State on defective PIL, the Court said that no doubt that a notice could have been issued to the Committee concerned before instituting the petition, however, the facts indicated in the petition were so notorious and undeniable that the making of a representation may have been an idle formality in this case. Therefore, the Court said that the State did not suffer any prejudice, because of a representation not having been made by the petitioner prior to the filing of the present petition.

The Court noted that the entire object and purpose of the said petition was for animals which are culled for their meat to be treated more ethically, for the wanton display of animal carcases to be avoided and for a more hygienic and caring attitude to be taken towards the animals and therefore, directed the State to indicate the measures taken for setting up local bodies in terms of the said Rules. The Court also said that despite the State lags in several other fields, considering the natural beauty that the State has been bestowed with, the State may consider being the model State in the Country regarding the ethical treatment of animals. Thus, the Court said that appropriate measures are ought to be taken, not only to comply with the said Rules but also to generally inculcate a culture of better treatment of animals, even if such animals are bred to be culled.

[Bakul Narzary v. State of Meghalaya, 2023 SCC OnLine Megh 432, Order dated: 02-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the petitioner: Senior Advocate S. Chakrawarty, Advocate E. Slong;

For the Respondents: Additional Advocate General K. Khan, Additional Government Advocate S. Sengupta, Government Advocate S. Laloo, DSG Dr. N. Mozika, Advocate K. Gurung, Adv.

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