Further, Rules 8 (1) and (2) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2016 provide that the animal can be confiscated on the owner’s first offence. This, according to the petition, is antithetical to Section 29 of the Act, which provides that the animals are liable to be confiscated only when the owner is convicted for the second time.
Moreover, the petitioner has also contended that slaughter of animals for the purpose of food does not amount to cruelty, as per Section 11(3) of the Act. Also, Section 28 of the Act provides that killing of an animal in any manner required by the religion of any community does not come under scope of the Act.
According to the petitioner, the Rules impose heavy costs on owners of animals, who usually come from economically weaker sections of society.
“… the provisions under section 35 of the Parent Act considered the poverty of the accused owner of the animal and exempted him from the payment for the treatment of animals, whereas the new rules mentioned above imposing harsh conditions of recovering the cost of care and maintenance as arrears of land revenue …”
The Centre’s competence to introduce Rules regarding regulation of animal markets has also been called into question.
“ It is relevant to note that, the fields of legislation, concerning “Markets and fairs” and “Preservation or protection and improvement of stocks”, falls, within entry 28 and 15 of the State list and thus it is only the State legislature, which is empowered to make laws on the said fields of legislation .”
Supreme Court is the fourth court to issue notice in the matter. Earlier, Madras, Kerala and Bombay High Courts had also issued notice in the challenge to the Rules.
News Source- Bar & Bench