Hearing a public interest litigation filed by an NGO that had stated that a large number of cattle are transported from India to Nepal to be slaughtered at the Gadhimal festival, which happens once in five years and is scheduled for November 28 and 29 this year, the Supreme Court today ordered that Centre should ensure that the cattle are not tortured and starved while in India.
The Bench headed by Justice Khehar asked the Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to discuss with the counsels of Bihar, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, states from which cattle is sent, to frame recommendations which the Court may pass.
The Solicitor General submitted to the Court that only persons having licence will be allowed to transport the animals and that government cannot do anything about the condition of animals and their slaughtering in Nepal.
The petition had reportedly stated that, “A vast number of buffaloes brought for the festival come from Bihar in contravention of Section 4A Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act, 1955 which prohibits export of cattle from the state,”, it had also claimed that, "The unregulated movement of cattle across the Indo-Nepal border contravenes the Export and Import Policy of India and violates the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992.”
The petition also states that more than 5,00,000 animals are slaughtered at the festival which lasts for two days.
The Supreme Court too agreed that it cannot pass any orders regarding the issue when the animals are in the territory of Nepal.
Next date of hearing has been fixed as November 21, by which the Centre has been asked to file a comprehensive affidavit.
Animal Rights in India have been emerging for some time now, recently, the HP High Court had banned animal sacrifices. The Supreme Court had earlier banned jallikattu and the Madras High Court had banned cock fights.