[Case-Brief] Animal Welfare Board of India v/s A. Nagaraja & Others

Introduction:

The present case concerns itself with an issue of seminal importance with regards to the rights of animals under our constitution in connection with the conduct of Jallikatu bullock cart races etc.

MoEF, as early as on 2.3.1991, issued a notification under Section 22 of PCA Act banning training and exhibition of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers and dogs, which was challenged by the Indian Circus Organization before the Delhi High Court but, later, a corrigendum was issued, whereby dogs were excluded from the notification. Later, MoEF issued a fresh notification dated 11.7.2011, specifically including “Bulls” also, so as to ban their exhibition or training as performing animals, while this Court was seized of the matter.

MoEF has now abruptly taken up the stand that though “Bull” has been included in the list of animals, not to be exhibited or trained as “performing animal” vide Notification dated 11.07.2011, it has been pointed out that, in order to strike a balance and to safeguard the interest of all stakeholders, including animals, and keeping in mind the historical, cultural and religious significance of the event, and with a view to ensure that no unnecessary pain or suffering is caused to the animals, participants as well as spectators, the Government proposes to exempt bulls participating in Jallikattu in the State of Tamil Nadu from the purview of the Notification dated 11.07.2011, subject to the guidelines, copy of which has been provided along with the affidavit filed by the Deputy Secretary, MoEF.

ABWI has taken up the stand that Jallikattu or Bullock-cart race conducted, as such, has no historical, cultural or religious significance, either in the State of Tamil Nadu or in the State of Maharashtra and, even assuming so, the welfare legislation like PCA Act would supersede the same, being a Parliamentary legislation.

ABWI has also taken up the specific stand that the bulls involved in Jallikattu, Bullock-cart race etc. are not “performing animals” within the meaning of Sections 21 and 22 of the PCA Act and that the MoEF, in any view, was justified in issuing the notification dated 11.7.2011 banning the exhibition of Bulls or training them as performing animals on accepting the stand taken by it before the Supreme Court.

Further, it has also taken up the stand that the TNRJ Act is repugnant to the provisions of the PCA Act and the rules made thereunder and State cannot give effect to it in the absence of the assent of the President under Article 254 of the Constitution of India. Further, ABWI also submits that the Bulls which are forced to participate in the race are subjected to considerable pain and suffering, which clearly violates Section 3 and Sections 11(1)(a) & (m) of the PCA Act read with Article 51A(g) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India and hence exhibition or training them as performing animals be completely banned.

Organizers of Jallikattu and Bullock-cart races, individually and collectively, took up the stand that these events take place at the end of harvest season (January and February) and sometimes during temple festivals which is traditionally and closely associated with village life, especially in the Southern Districts of the State of Tamil Nadu.

Organizers of Bullock-cart races in the State of Maharashtra also took the stand that the same is going on for the last more than three hundred years by way of custom and tradition and that extreme care and protection are being taken not to cause any injury or pain to the bullocks which participate in the event. Organizers also submitted that such sports events attract a large number of persons which generates revenue for the State as well as enjoyment to the participants. Further, it was also stated that no cruelty is meted out to the performing bulls in Bullock-cart races so as to violate Section 11(1)(a) of the PCA Act and the District Collector, Police Officials etc. are always on duty to prevent cruelty on animals. Further, it is also their stand that the sports events can only be regulated and not completely prohibited and the State of Tamil Nadu has already enacted the TNRJ Act, which takes care of the apprehensions expressed by the Board.

The State of Tamil Nadu has also taken up the stand that every effort shall be made to see that bulls are not subjected to any cruelty so as to violate the provisions of the PCA Act and the sporting event can be regulated as per the provisions of the TNRJ Act. Further, it was also pointed out that the bulls taking part in the Jallikattu, Bullock-cart Race etc. are specifically identified, trained, nourished for the purpose of the said sports event and owners of Bulls spend considerable money for training, maintenance, and upkeep of the bulls. Further, the State has also taken up the stand that the Bulls are “performing animals”, and since there is no sale of tickets in the events conducted, Section 22 will not apply, so also the notification dated 11.7.2011. The state has also taken up the stand that complete ban on such races would not be in public interest which is being conducted after harvest season and sometimes during temple festivals as well.

The State of Maharashtra has not challenged the judgment of the Bombay High Court and hence the State of Maharashtra is in favor of banning the exhibition or training of Bulls, whether castrated or otherwise as performing animals.

Arguments Advanced:

Shri Raj Panjwani, learned senior counsel appearing for AWBI as well as for the Petitioner in Writ Petition No. 145 of 2011, submitted that the event Jallikattu, even if conducted following the TNJR Act, would still violate the provisions of PCA Act, especially Section 11(1)(a). Learned senior counsel submitted that Jallikattu, as an event, involves causing the Bull pain and suffering and cannot be free from cruelty and hence falls within the meaning of Section 11(1)(a). Further, it was pointed out that, during Jallikattu, the Bulls, it is observed, carry out a flight response, indicating both fear and pain and suffering. Shri Panjwani made considerable stress on the words “or otherwise” in Section 11(1)(a) and submitted that any act which inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering on an animal is prohibited unless it is specifically permitted under any of the provisions of PCA Act or the rules made thereunder. Shri Panjwani also submitted that since the event Jallikattu, as such, is an offence under Section 11(1)(a), through a State Act, it can neither be permitted nor regulated and hence the State Act is void under Article 245(1) of the Constitution, in the absence of any Presidential Assent.

Shri Rakesh Dwivedi, learned senior counsel appearing for State of Tamil Nadu, referring to Section 11(3) of PCA Act, submitted that the Act does not prohibit the infliction of all forms of pain or suffering on animals and hence Section 11(1)(a) has to be read and understood in that context. Referring to Sections 11(1)(a), (g), (h), (j), (m) and (n), learned senior counsel submitted that the expression “unnecessary pain or suffering” is not used in those clauses and hence the events like Jallikattu, which do not cause that much of pain or suffering on the animal, cannot be completely prohibited, but could only be regulated.

Shri Bali, learned senior counsel appearing for the organizers, highlighted the historical and cultural importance of Jallikattu event and submitted that, taking into consideration the nature of the event, the same would not cause any unnecessary pain or suffering to the Bulls which participate in that event, so as to violate Section 3 or Section 11(1)(a) of PCA Act. Learned senior counsel submitted that such events could be regulated under the regulations framed under TNRJ Act as well as the additional safeguards taken by the State Government and the proposed guidelines framed by MoEF. Learned senior counsel also submitted that the mere fact that there has been some violation of the regulations would not mean that the entire event is banned in the State of Tamil Nadu which, according to the learned senior counsel, will not be in public interest. Learned senior counsel also referred to the manner in which such events are being conducted world-over, after taking proper precaution for the safety of the animals used in those events.

Issues Raised:

Whether the events that are being conducted in the States of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are in violation of Sections 3, 11(1)(a)& (m), 21 and 22 of the PCA Act read with Articles 51A(g) and (h) of the Constitution and the notification dated 11.7.2011.

The ratio of the Court:

Bulls accordingly to the animal behavior studies, adopt flight or fight response when they are frightened or threatened and this instinctual response to a perceived threat is what is being exploited in Jallikattu or Bullock-cart races. During Jallikattu, many animals are observed to engage in a flight response as they try to run away from the arena when they experience fear or pain, but cannot do this, since the area is completely enclosed. A detailed report has been filed which states the manner in which such an event is conducted.

In spite of the various directions issued by this Court, in the conduct of Jallikattu, Bullock-cart Race etc., the regulatory provisions of TNRJ Act and the restrictions in the State of Maharashtra, the situation is the same and no action is being taken by the District Collectors, Police Officials and others, who are in-charge to control the same, to see that those directions are properly and effectively complied with and the animals are not being subjected to torture and cruelty. Being dumb and helpless, they suffer in silence.

The PCA Act, 1960 was enacted so as to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to amend the law relating to prevention of cruelty to animals.

PCA Act is a welfare legislation which has to be construed bearing in mind the purpose and object of the Act and the Directive Principles of State Policy. It is a trite law that, in the matters of welfare legislation, the provisions of law should be liberally construed in favor of the weak and infirm. Regulations or guidelines, whether statutory or otherwise, if they purport to dilute or defeat the welfare legislation and the constitutional principles, Court should not hesitate to strike them down so as to achieve the ultimate object and purpose of the welfare legislation. Court has also a duty under the doctrine of parens patriae to take care of the rights of animals since they are unable to take care of themselves as against human beings.

 Section 3 of the Act deals with duties of persons having charge of animals, which is mandatory in nature and hence confer corresponding rights on animals. Rights so conferred on animals are thus the antithesis of a duty and if those rights are violated, the law will enforce those rights with legal sanction.

The two limbs in section 3 have to be cumulatively satisfied. Primary duty on the persons-in-charge or care of the animal is to ensure the well-being of the animal. ‘Well-being’ means the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. Organizers of Jallikattu are depriving the rights guaranteed to the bulls under Section 3 of PCA Act.  Jallikattu /Bullock- cart race, as such, is not for the well-being of the animal and, by undertaking such events, organizers are clearly violating the first limb of Section 3 of the PCA Act.

By organizing Jallikattu and Bullock-cart race, the organizers are not preventing the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, but they are inflicting pain and suffering on the bulls, which they are legally obliged to prevent. Section 3 is a preventive provision casting no right on the organizers, but only duties and obligations. Section 3, as already indicated, confers corresponding rights on the animals as against the persons-in-charge or care, as well as AWBI, to ensure their well-being and be not inflicted with any unnecessary pain or suffering. Jallikattu or Bullock-cart race, from the point of the animals, is not an event ensuring their well-being or an event meant to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, on the contrary, it is an event against their well-being and causes unnecessary pain and suffering on them. Hence, the two limbs of Section 3 of PCA Act have been violated while conducting Jallikattu and Bullock-cart race.

Section 11 generally deals with the cruelty to animals. Section 11 confers no right on the organizers to conduct Jallikattu/Bullock-cart race. Section 11 is a beneficial provision enacted for the welfare and protection of the animals and it is penal in nature. Being penal in nature, it confers rights on the animals and obligations of all persons, including those who are in-charge or care of the animals, AWBI etc. to look after their well-being and welfare.

Section 11(1)(a) uses the expressions “or otherwise”  to which the legislature has intended to cover all situations, where the animals are subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering.

Reports submitted by AWBI clearly indicate that Bulls are being treated with extreme cruelty and suffering, violating the provisions of Section 11(1) of the PCA Act. Over and above, Section 11(1), clauses (b) to (o) also confer various duties and obligations, generally and specifically, on the persons in charge of or care of animals which, in turn, confer corresponding rights on animals, which, if violated, are punishable under the proviso to Section 11(1) of the PCA Act.

 Section 11(3) carves out exceptions in five categories of cases:

(a) the dehorning of cattle, or the castration or branding or nose-roping of any animal, in a prescribed manner; or

(b) the destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers or by such other methods as may be prescribed; or

(c) the extermination or destruction of any animal under the authority of any law for the time being in force; or

(d) any matter dealt with in Chapter IV; or

(e) the commission or omission of any act in the course of the destruction or the preparation for the destruction of any animal as food for mankind unless such destruction or preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.” Exceptions are incorporated based on the “doctrine of necessity”.

Entertainment, exhibition or amusement do not fall under these exempted categories and cannot be claimed as a matter of right under the doctrine of necessity.

 Sections 3 and 11, as already indicated, therefore, confer no right on the organizers of Jallikattu or bullock-cart race, but only duties, responsibilities and obligations, but confer corresponding rights on animals. Sections 3, 11(1)(a) & (o) and other related provisions have to be understood and read along with Article 51A(g) of the Constitution which cast fundamental duties on every citizen to have “compassion for living creatures”. Parliament, by incorporating Article 51A(g), has again reiterated and re-emphasized the fundamental duties on human beings towards every living creature, which evidently takes in bulls as well.

Bulls, therefore, cannot be a performing animal, anatomically not designed for that, but are forced to perform, inflicting pain and suffering, in total violation of Sections 3and Section 11(1) of PCA Act. Chapter V of the PCA Act deals with the performing animals. Section 22 of the PCA Act places restriction on exhibition and training of performing animals

Section 23 of the PCA Act deals with the procedure for registration. Section 24 of the PCA Act deals with the powers of the court to prohibit or restrict exhibition and training of performing animals. Section 25 of the PCA Act confers powers on any authorized person to enter into the premises to examine as to whether the statutory requirements are properly complied with. Section 26 of the PCA Act deals with the offenses and Section 27 of the PCA Act deals with exemptions. Performing Animals Rules, 1973 define ‘performing animal’ to mean any animal which is used for, or for the purpose of any entertainment to which public are admitted through the sale of tickets. Jallikattu, Bullock-cart races, it was contended, are conducted without the sale of tickets and hence Section 22 of the PCA Act would not apply, so also the notification dated 11.7.2011. There is no substance or logic in that submission. It may be noted that when Bull is specifically prohibited to be exhibited or trained for performance, the question whether such performance, exhibition or entertainment is conducted with the sale of tickets or not, is irrelevant from the point of application of Sections 3 and 11(1) of the PCA Act.

Section 11(1)(m)(ii), therefore, says, if any person, solely with a view to providing entertainment incites any animal to fight, shall be punishable under the proviso to Section 11(1). In Jallikattu, Bull is expected to fight with various Bull tamers, for which it is incited solely to provide entertainment for the spectators by the sale of tickets or otherwise.

Inciting the Bull to fight with another animal or human being matters little, so far as the Bull is concerned, it is a fight, hence, cruelty. Jallikattu, Bullock-cart Race, therefore, violate not only Sections, 3, 11(1)(a) & (m) and Section 22, but also the notification dated 11.7.2011 issued by the Central Government under Section 22(ii) of the PCA Act.

Reference has been made to the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001. Rule 8 deals with the general condition of registration. Rule 8(v) states that the owner shall ensure that any animal is not inflicted unnecessary pain or suffering before or during or after its training or exhibition. Rule 8(vii) specifically caution that the owner shall train the animal as a performing animal to perform an act in accordance with the animals’ natural instinct. Bull is trained not in accordance with its natural instinct for the Jallikattu or Bullock-cart race. Bulls, in those events, are observed to carry out a “flight response” running away from the crowd as well as from the Bull tamers, since they are in fear and distress, this natural instinct is being exploited.

Power is conferred on the Central Government under Section 22(ii) to ban the exhibition or training of any animal as a performing animal. Following its earlier notification dated 14.10.1998, as already stated, the MoEF issued another notification dated 11.7.2011 including “Bull” also as an animal not to be exhibited or trained for exhibition as a performing animal, which is a conscious decision taken by the MoEF on relevant materials, while this Court was seized of the matter. AWBI’s advice under Sections 9(a) and (l), as well as the note of Animal Welfare Division of MoEF, was accepted by the Central Government and now it cannot take a contrary stand, that too, without consulting the AWBI, whose advice was already accepted and acted upon.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the TNRJ Act refers to ancient culture and tradition and does not state that it has any religious significance. Even the ancient culture and tradition do not support the conduct of Jallikattu or Bullock cart race, in the form in which they are being conducted at present.

PCA Act, a welfare legislation, in our view, over-shadows or overrides the so-called tradition and culture. Jallikattu and Bullock cart races, the manner in which they are conducted, have no support of Tamil tradition or culture. Assuming, it has been in vogue for quite some time, in our view, the same should give way to the welfare legislation, like the PCA Act which has been enacted to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and confer duties and obligations on persons-in-charge of animals. Of late, there are some attempts at certain quarters, to reap maximum gains and the animals are being exploited by the human beings by using coercive methods and inflicting unnecessary pain for the pleasure, amusement, and enjoyment.

PCA Act has been enacted with an object to safeguard the welfare of the animals and evidently to cure some mischief and age-old practices, so as to bring into effect some type of reform, based on eco-centric principles, recognizing the intrinsic value and worth of animals. All the same, the Act has taken care of the religious practices of the community while killing an animal vide Section 28 of the Act.

It was further unfortunately indicated there is no international agreement that ensures the welfare and protection of animals. United Nations, all these years, safeguarded only the rights of human beings, not the rights of other species like animals, ignoring the fact that many of them, including Bulls, are sacrificing their lives to alleviate human suffering, combating diseases and as food for human consumption.

Based on eco-centric principles, rights of animals have been recognized in various countries. Protection of animals has been guaranteed by the Constitution of Germany by way of an amendment in 2002 when the words “and the animals” were added to the constitutional clauses that oblige ‘state’ to respect ‘animal dignity’. Therefore, the dignity of the animals is constitutionally recognized in that country. Countries like Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia have enacted legislation to include animal welfare in their national Constitutions so as to balance the animal owners’ fundamental rights to property and the animals’ interest in freedom from unnecessary suffering or pain, damage, and fear.

Animals Welfare Act of 2006 (U.K.) also confers considerable protection to the animals from pain and suffering. The Austrian Federal Animal Protection Act also recognizes man’s responsibilities towards his fellow creatures and the subject “Federal Act” aims at the protection of life and well being of the animals. The Animal Welfare Act, 2010 (Norway) states “animals have an intrinsic value which is irrespective of the usable value they may have for the man. Animals shall be treated well and be protected from the danger of unnecessary stress and strain. Section 26 of the Legislation prohibits training an animal to fight with people.

Further animal protection is also recognized under Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare (UDAW) and World Society for the protection of animals (WSPA) and World Health Organization of Animal Health (OIE) to which India is a member.

OIE recognizes five internationally recognized freedoms for animals, such as:

  1. i) freedom from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition;
  2. ii) freedom from fear and distress;

iii) freedom from physical and thermal discomfort;

  1. iv) freedom from pain, injury and disease; and
  2. v) freedom to express normal patterns of behavior.

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in its “Legislative and Regulatory Options for Animal Welfare” indicated that these five freedoms found their place in Farm Welfare Council 2009 U.K. and is also called Brambell’s Five Freedoms. These five freedoms, as already indicated, are considered to be the fundamental principles of animal welfare and we can say that these freedoms find a place in Sections 3 and 11 of PCA Act and they are for animals like the rights guaranteed to the citizens of this country under Part III of the Constitution of India.

Animals are world-wide legally recognized as ‘property’ that can be possessed by humans. On deletion of Article 19(1)(f) from the Indian Constitution, right to property is more a fundamental right in India, this gives the Parliament more a leeway to pass laws protecting the rights of animals. Right to hold on to a property which includes animals also is now only a legal right, not a fundamental right. We have also to see the rights of animals in that perspective as well.

Rights guaranteed to the animals under Sections 3, 11, etc. are only statutory rights. The same has to be elevated to the status of fundamental rights, as has been done by few countries around the world, so as to secure their honor and dignity. Rights and freedoms guaranteed to the animals under Sections 3 and 11 have to be read along with Article 51A(g)(h) of the Constitution, which is the Magna Carta of animal rights.

Article 51A(g) states that it shall be the duty of citizens to have compassion for living creatures.  Article 51A(g), therefore, enjoins that it was a fundamental duty of every citizen “to have compassion for living creatures”, which means concern for suffering, sympathy, kindliness etc., which has to be read along with Sections 3, 11(1)(a) & (m), 22 etc. of PCA Act.

Article 51A(h) says that it shall be the duty of every citizen to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. Citizens should, therefore, develop a spirit of compassion and humanism which is reflected in the Preamble of PCA Act as well as in Sections 3 and 11 of the Act. To look after the welfare and well- being of the animals and the duty to prevent the infliction of pain or suffering on animals highlights the principles of humanism in Article 51A(h). Both Articles 51A(g) and (h) have to be read into the PCA Act, especially in Section 3and Section 11 of the PCA Act and be applied and enforced.

Speciesism Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as “the assumption of human superiority over other creatures, leading to the exploitation of animals”. Speciesism is also described as the widespread discrimination that is practiced by man against the other species that is a prejudice or attitude of bias towards the interest of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species. We have got over those inequalities like Castism, Racism, Sexism etc. through Constitutional and Statutory amendments, like Articles 14 to 17, 19, 29 and so on.  Through the sections of PCA, speciesism is planned to be eradicated

We have, however, a lot of avoidable non-essential human activities like Bullock-cart race, Jallikattu etc. Bulls, thinking that they have only instrumental value are intentionally used though avoidable, ignoring the welfare of the Bulls solely for human pleasure. Such avoidable human activities violate rights guaranteed to them under Sections 3 and 11 of PCA Act.

 Every species has a right to life and security, subject to the law of the land, which includes depriving its life, out of human necessity. Article 21 includes animal life. Right to live in a healthy and clean atmosphere and right to get protection from human beings against inflicting unnecessary pain or suffering is a right guaranteed to the animals under Sections 3 and 11 of the PCA Act read with Article 51A(g) of the Constitution.  Right to dignity and fair treatment is, therefore, not confined to human beings alone, but to animals as well.

Jallikattu and other forms of Bulls race, as the various reports indicate, causes considerable pain, stress, and strain on the bulls. Bulls, in such events, not only to move their head showing that they do not want to go to the arena but, as pain is being inflicted in the vadivasal is so much, they have no other go but to flee to a situation which is adverse to them. Bulls, in that situation, are stressed, exhausted, injured and humiliated.

Thus Sections 21, 22 of the PCA Act and the relevant provisions have to be understood in the light of the rights conferred on animals under Section 3, read with Sections 11(1)(a) &(o) and Articles 51A(g) and (h) of the Constitution, and if so read, Bulls cannot be used as a Performing Animals for Jallikattu and Bullock-cart Race, since they are basically draught and pack animals, not anatomically designed for such performances.

We may now examine whether provisions of the TNRJ Act, which is a State Act, is repugnant to the PCA Act, which is a Central Act, since, both the Acts fall under Entry No. 17 in the Concurrent List. Repugnancy between the Parliamentary Legislation and State Legislation arises in two ways:

  1. i) Where the legislation, though enacted with respect to the matters in their allotted sphere, overlap conflict and
  2. ii) Where two legislations are with respect to the same matters in the concurrent list and there is a conflict.

In both the situations, the Parliamentary legislation will predominate in the first by virtue of the non-obstante clause in Article 246(1), and in the second by reason of Article 254(1) of the Constitution.

Instances are many, where the State law may be inconsistent with the Central law, where there may be express inconsistency in actual terms of the two legislations so that one cannot be obeyed without disobeying the other. Further, if the Parliamentary legislation, if intended to be a complete and exhaustive code, then though there is no direct conflict, the State law may be inoperative.

Section 38 of the PCA Act confers rule-making powers on the Central Government and, in exercise of its rule-making powers, the Central Government made the Performing Animal Rules, 1973 and the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 and thrust of all the substantive and procedural provisions is the welfare and well-being of the animal and the duties and obligations of the persons who are in-charge of the animals and also to safeguard the rights conferred on the animals. Rule 8(vii) specifically refers to animals’ “basic natural instinct” and cautions that the basic natural instinct of the animals is protected and be not exploited.

The TNRJ Act, 2009 is an anthropocentric legislation enacted not for the welfare of the animals, unlike PCA Act, which is an eco-centric legislation, enacted to ensure the well-being and welfare of the animals and to prevent unnecessary pain or suffering of the animals. The State Act basically safeguards the interest of the organizers and spectators while conducting the event of Jallikattu.

TNRJ Act, in its Objects and Reasons, speaks of ancient culture and tradition and also the safety of animals, participants, and spectators. PCA Act was enacted at a time when it was noticed that in order to reap maximum gains, the animals were being exploited by human beings, by using coercive methods and by inflicting unnecessary pain. PCA Act was, therefore, passed to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering and for the well-being and welfare of the animals and to preserve the natural instinct of the animal. Over-powering the performing animal was never in the contemplation of the PCA Act and, in fact, under Section 3 of the PCA Act, a statutory duty has been cast on the person who is in-charge or care of the animal to ensure the well-being of such animal and to prevent infliction on the animal of unnecessary pain or suffering. PCA Act, therefore, cast not only duties on human beings, but also confer corresponding rights on animals, which is being taken away by the State Act (TNRJ Act) by conferring rights on the organizers and Bull tamers, to conduct Jallikattu, which is inconsistent and in direct collision with Section 3, Section 11(1)(a), 11(1)(m)(ii) and Section 22 of the PCA Act read with Articles 51A(g) & (h) of the Constitution and hence repugnant to the PCA Act, which is a welfare legislation and hence declared unconstitutional and void, being violative of Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India.

Decision Held:

Thus AWBI is right in its stand that Jallikattu, Bullock-cart Race and such events per se violate Sections 3, 11(1)(a) and 11(1)(m)(ii) of PCA Act and hence we uphold the notification dated 11.7.2011 issued by the Central Government, consequently, Bulls cannot be used as performing animals, either for the Jallikattu events or Bullock- cart Races in the State of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country. Thus the following declarations and directions:

1) We declare that the rights guaranteed to the Bulls under Sections 3 and 11 of PCA Act read with Articles 51A(g) & (h) are cannot be taken away or curtailed, except under Sections 11(3) and 28 of PCA Act.

2) We declare that the five freedoms, referred to earlier be read into Sections 3 and 11 of PCA Act, be protected and safeguarded by the States, Central Government, Union Territories (in short “Governments”), MoEF and AWBI.

3) AWBI and Governments are directed to take appropriate steps to see that the persons-in-charge or care of animals, take reasonable measures to ensure the well-being of animals.

4) AWBI and Governments are directed to take steps to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on the animals since their rights have been statutorily protected under Sections 3 and 11 of PCA Act.

5) AWBI is also directed to ensure that the provisions of Section 11(1)(m)(ii)scrupulously followed, meaning thereby, that the person-in-charge or care of the animal shall not incite any animal to fight against a human being or another animal.

6) AWBI and the Governments would also see that even in cases where Section 11(3) is involved, the animals were not put to unnecessary pain and suffering and adequate and scientific methods be adopted to achieve the same.

7) AWBI and the Governments should take steps to impart education in relation to the human treatment of animals in accordance with Section 9(k) inculcating the spirit of Articles 51A(g) & (h) of the Constitution.

8) Parliament is expected to make proper amendment of the PCA Act to provide an effective deterrent to achieve the object and purpose of the Act and for violation of Section 11, adequate penalties and punishments should be imposed.

9) Parliament, it is expected, would elevate rights of animals to that of constitutional rights, as done by many of the countries around the world, so as to protect their dignity and honor.

10) The Governments would see that if the provisions of the PCA Act and the declarations and the directions issued by this Court are not properly and effectively complied with, disciplinary action is taken against the erring officials so that the purpose and object of PCA Act could be achieved.

11) TNRJ Act is found repugnant to PCA Act, which is a welfare legislation, hence held constitutionally void, being violative of Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India.

12) AWBI is directed to take effective and speedy steps to implement the provisions of PCA Act in consultation with SPCA and make periodical reports to the Governments and if any violation is noticed, the Governments should take steps to remedy the same, including appropriate follow-up action.

Thus, the judgment of the Madras High Court was set aside. The judgment of Bombay High Court and the notification dated 11.7.2011 issued by the Central Government were upheld.

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