HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Monday asked the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to instruct their law officers (public prosecutors and government pleaders) appearing before various trial courts to oppose the release of vehicles and animals seized by the police while transporting animals without taking proper safety measures and, particularly, when the case is registered under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Animal Transportation Rules.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice P Naveen Rao was dealing with a PIL case filed by the Animal Rescue Organisation and the Cow Protection Federation alleging that the cattle are being treated cruelly while loading them into transport vehicles and packing them beyond permissible limits at Pithapuram Shandy in East Godavari district.
The petitioner’s counsel brought to the notice of the court that the police of Tuni of the district have seized nearly 90 animals and they are kept in open without shelter or water and there is a need to send them to the nearest animal shelters.
The persons who are transporting the cows and other animals are filing petitions and getting them released to take them away for slaughtering, the counsel pointed out.
The counsel placed a copy of the memo issued by the Delhi government asking the prosecutors to go into the merits of the cases of animal cruelty and also oppose the release of vehicles and grant of bails to the accused involved in cases of cruelty towards animals.
After perusing the memo, the bench said it is one of the good steps to prevent animal cruelty and asked both the states to follow the model.
On the other hand, the government counsel for AP said that they have taken steps to shift the animals to the nearest shelters.
Expressing dismay at the manner in which the transporters are getting the custody of animals during the pendency of cases, the bench wanted the two state governments to instruct the law officers like the public prosecutors and the government pleaders at the trial courts to oppose release of animals and vehicles seized by the police by informing the courts that the case is being monitored in the present PIL and as per the judgments of the Supreme Court the release cannot be done pending trial.
While reserving its orders in the case, the bench said it will direct the subordinate courts not to grant release or bail orders in the cases of animal cruelty casually.
Further, appropriate orders will also be sent to all the judicial officers in this regard, it added.