‘… our country being a welfare State, the State of Manipur ought to act fairly and reasonably with a view to keep a healthy environment for purpose of making the human life meaningful.’
The Manipur High Court recently directed the state to implement the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act and the Rules made thereunder, in letter and spirit.
A suo moto PIL was registered by the high court based on a representation it received from an NGO viz. People For Animal, Manipur, raising various issues regarding the non-implementation of the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Rules thereunder.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar perused the affidavits filed by the state in the matter and observed that the Animal Welfare Board still remains admittedly non-functional and Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) were established as late as in the year 2012, but that too on papers only. The bench also referred to the Supreme Court in its judgment.
The bench, also comprising Justice Kh Nobin Singh, observed: “The callous attitude being shown to by the State Government and the insensibility to the issue relating to the welfare of the animals which has been held to be included within the meaning of the “right to life”, are unfortunate. Although it has been stated in the affidavit that necessary steps have been taken for purpose of implementing the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder as well as the orders/ directions passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the documents in support thereof have not been placed on record for perusal by this court. The Act, 1960 and the rules made thereunder, being enacted by the Union of India, the State Government is bound to implement the provisions thereof and in addition thereto, the State Government is bound to comply with the orders passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The State Government shall not be swayed by a wrong notion or an impression that nobody would approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court by way of a contempt proceeding against the State Government for its non-compliance with the Apex Court’s order. It is the bounden duty of the State Government to have due respect for the Apex Court and in other words, our country being a welfare State, the State of Manipur ought to act fairly and reasonably with a view to keep a healthy environment for purpose of making the human life meaningful.”
In view of the order passed by the Supreme Court in Animal Welfare Board India case in which all the high courts were requested not to pass any order relating to the Act and Rules, pertaining to dogs, the bench disposed of the PIL. It also directed the state to implement the animal welfare laws and to file compliance report within four months.