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Delhi High Court issues notice to Centre, Animal Welfare Board on Kapil Dev plea seeking stricter laws against cruelty to animals

The Delhi High Court has sought response from the Central government, Animal Welfare Board, Delhi government and the Delhi Police over a petition filed by legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev seeking stricter laws against cruelty to animals.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula directed the authorities to file their responses in four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on December 19.

Filed by Kapil Dev, his wife Romi Dev and animal rights activist Anjali Gopalan, the public interest litigation (PIL) challenged the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in the part that allowed ‘destruction’ of stray dogs in lethal chambers and ‘extermination/ destruction’ of any animal under the authority of any law.

It further challenged the constitutional validity of Sections 11(1), 11(3) (b) and 11(3) (c) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Sections 428 (Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees) and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle etc of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Section 11 has provision of fine ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 100 for persons treating animals with cruelty. For the first time offenders, the fine ranged between Rs 10 to Rs 50, while the subsequent offences could be charged anything between Rs 25 to Rs 100, besides being awarded a three months sentence or both.

The petitioner argued that the provision did not have any deterrent effect and was manifestly arbitrary since it trivialised the life of animals and was inadequate to deal with the gravity of brutality, torture and crime committed against animals within the country.

With regard to the provision of IPC, the plea argued that these provisions created an unreasonable classification between two sets of offences dealing with mischief by killing or maiming animals, on the basis of commercial value of the animal.

The petition contended that for the grave offence of killing or maiming an animal of the value of ten rupees, the Act had provision for imprisonment of a term which may extend to two years or with fine or both, while for the same offence of mischief by killing or maiming cattle of any value or animal of the value of Rs 50, the imprisonment was extended to a term of five years or with fine or both.

For the same gruesome offence of killing or maiming an animal, the penalty amount was different on the basis of the commercial and utility value of the animal, which was wholly unreasonable and arbitrary, it added.

The petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi, along with Advocates Shraddha Deshmukh, Snehil Sonam and Shikhar Kishore.

The post Delhi High Court issues notice to Centre, Animal Welfare Board on Kapil Dev plea seeking stricter laws against cruelty to animals appeared first on India Legal.



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Delhi High Court issues notice to Centre, Animal Welfare Board on Kapil Dev plea seeking stricter laws against cruelty to animals

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