New Delhi: A Delhi court has refused to return a man his cattle, caught loaded in a truck, while observing that the animals were being transported for being slaughtered in "a very cruel and inhumane manner."
The court, while dismissing Rajasthan native Jagdish Banjara's plea for release of 25 buffaloes and calves of which eight had died, directed that the animals be kept in care and protection of Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre.
"Taking into consideration entire facts and circumstances wherein it has come up that the animals were transported for being slaughtered in a very cruel and inhumane manner, the previous involvement of the same vehicle, it is possible that the animals might be subjected to more cruelty and suffering in contravention of the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960...the revision is dismissed.
"The animals, however, be kept in the care and protection of Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, which is a recognised animal care centre cum pinjrapole working as an animal welfare and rescue facility for sick, injured and rescued animals so long as the matter is under trial," Additional Sessions Judge Sudesh Kumar said. Pinjrapoles are home to frail and abandoned cattle.
According to the police, Banjara was caught with a truck loaded with 25 buffaloes and calves on June 22 on the complaint of an officer from Wildlife Crime and Cruelty Cell.
He was booked for offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and provisions of the IPC and the case is under investigation, the police said.
On July 1, the application of Banjara for the release of the animals was dismissed by a magisterial court and a revision plea was filed by him before sessions court.
The sessions court, which upheld the order of the lower court, relied on IO's submission that the man did not have any proof of ownership or veterinary record which was mandatory as per law and on the basis of which prompt medical assistance could have been provided to the animals.
It noted that the truck, in which the animals were found, was previously involved in a similar case.
"As per the report filed by the IO, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre has received 16 buffaloes, 9 buffalo calves... All the animals were majorly suffering from fever, dehydration, abrasions on legs, anaemia etc.
"Out of the 25 animals, 8 of them had already expired and only 17 were remaining which were showing positive signs of recovery," it said.
"I have gone through the record and heard the arguments. As per the report filed on behalf of the IO and also on behalf of the representative from the Animal Care Centre, it seems that the animals were being transported in extremely cruel and most inhumane conditions. They were found having wounds on their body, abrasions on legs.
"The animals were severely injured and in an exhausted state of mind due to poor transport conditions. The animals were made to suffer by putting more than the permissible limit in a single truck," the judge said....