Cricketer Kapil Dev moves HC against laws allowing 'destruction' of stray dogs

The cricketer had earlier knocked the doors of the Supreme Court with the same petition in the backdrop of a shocking incident of a stray pregnant dog being tortured and killed in Delhi.
Legendary cricketer Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
Legendary cricketer Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev approached the Delhi High Court against the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act that allowed "the destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers or by such other methods as may be prescribed" and "the extermination or destruction of any animal under the authority of any law".

The cricketer had earlier knocked the doors of the Supreme Court with the same petition in the backdrop of a shocking incident of a stray pregnant dog being tortured and killed in Delhi in November 2022.

In July, the apex court, however, had asked the petitioner to move the Delhi High Court while allowing him to withdraw his writ petition.
 
As the plea came before a bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, the high court given time for Dev's counsel to place certain judgments on record.

The bench also comprising Justice Sanjeev Narula, accordingly, posted the matter for further hearing on October 13.

The petitioners -- Kapil Dev, his wife Romi Dev and animal rights activist Anjali Gopalan -- said the plea was being filed on account of repeated instances of barbaric treatment meted out to animals showing the “most brutal and cruel face of humanity” and the “utter effete” response of law and the law enforcing agencies.

"The provisions of IPC remain unavailable for protection of rights of animals against grave offences such as maiming or killing, especially when such a valuation is not possible, and in cases where the animal is a street animal and not a pet or where the animal is handicapped or has been rendered unprofitable due to old age," the plea said.

Petitioners challenged section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, saying it was without deterrence and manifestly arbitrary since it trivialises life and denies animals any meaningful existence by treating their mutilation and killing as petty and frivolous acts, mocking their death through imposition of punishment of less than Rs 10.

“Section 11 is further unfair and unreasonable in so far as the exception under PCA Act which permits cruelty to animals for the purposes mentioned in Section 11(3) (b) (destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers), Section 11(3) (c) (extermination or destruction of any animal under the authority of any law for the time being in force)...,” the plea said.

It has also challenged 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 claiming that it is an instance of speciesism suggesting lack of moral worth or value in animals.

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