NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to either withdraw or amend rules notified in 2017 for confiscating animals of traders and transporters during the pendency of trial in cases under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, saying they are contrary to the law.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said that the rules will be stayed if not withdrawn or amended by the Centre as the law provides that animals can be confiscated only if a person is convicted under the Act.
“Animals are source of livelihood. We are not talking about pet dogs and cats. People live on the basis of their animals. You can’t confiscate them and keep them before the man is convicted. Your rules are contrary. You either withdraw it or we will stay it,” the bench said.
The bench told Additional Solicitor General Jayant K Sud, appearing for the Centre, that the government cannot confiscate the cattle and keep it before a person is convicted.
At the outset, Sud informed the bench that the 2017 rules have been notified as atrocities were being committed on animals.
The bench said, “We are trying to tell you that the section is very clear that only the person who is convicted can lose the animal. You either amend the rule or we will stay it. We cannot have a situation where the rule is running contrary to the express provision of the Act.”
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on January 11.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, were notified on May 23, 2017.