The Bombay High Court ruled that in the Rule 5 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides joint liabilities for treatment and Care of Animals which are recovered form his Vehicle.
In a case Altaf Babru Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra and Anr. Bombay High Court observed and has upheld an order wherein directing the owner of a vehicle to pay towards maintenance and health inspection of the animals seized from it as stated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The bench headed by Justice Prakash Naik in its judgement observed and has noted that the Session judge, while upholding the order of magistrate and has made reference to Rule 5 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017, wherein providing for joint and several liability for the cost of transport, treatment and care of animals in case of offence relating to transport of animals, by the vehicle owner, consignor, transporter, consignee, agents and any other parties which are involved.
The court stated that although the petitioner being the owner of the vehicle, he cannot be absolved of his responsibility for paying the amount towards maintenance and health inspection of animals in accordance with rules as stated above the petitioner can be directed for paying the amount towards maintenance, health inspection and future amount of Rs.200/- per day per animal being the owner of the vehicle. In the present case, the court dismissed the writ petition filled by the vehicle owner’s wherein challenging the order directing the petitioner him to pay Rs. 90625 for health inspection and or the maintenance of the animals which includes the owner and accused of the case property.
Therefore, an FIR was being registered under section 11 of the Maharashtra Protection of Animals Act, 1976 and section 192-A of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 wherein alleging that buffaloes were being transported illegally to Mumbai. In relation to the FIR, the police interrupted the petitioner’s truck and seized the animals being transported inside. 23 buffaloes were rescued and were handed over to Gaushala for preservation and care. It has been directed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class that the owner of the animals, occupants of the truck, and the truck owner are jointly and were severally liable for the cost of transport, treatment and care of animals till 13.07.2022. An amount of Rs. 200 per day per animal was also being imposed for future maintenance till the conclusion of trial. The Additional Sessions Judge dismissed the revision petition against this order.
The counsel, Advocate Atharva Dandekar appearing for the petitioner submitted that the magistrate order is illegal as the petitioner being only the owner of the vehicle and he was not involved in purchase and sale of animals. Hence, he cannot be compelled for paying maintenance cost towards the animals. APP A. R. Patil appearing for the State observed and opposed the petition wherein submitting that Rule 5 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 which provided that in case of offence relating to transport of animals, all involved parties including vehicle owner, transporter etc. shall be jointly and severally liable for the cost of transport, treatment, and for the care of the animals.
Further, it has been noted by the court that the magistrate has given a detailed order and the sessions judge has rightly observed that the petitioner who being the owner of the vehicle is jointly and is severally being liable for the cost of transport, treatment, and care of animals. Accordingly, the court dismissed the petition.
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