Gujarat High Court Slams State Over Death of Impounded Cows

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Gujarat High Court Slams State Over Death of Impounded Cows

| Updated: December 12, 2023 18:40

Gujarat High Court Slams State Over Death of Impounded Cows

The Gujarat High Court made a strong statement on December 12, 2023, condemning the death of 30 cows that were impounded and kept in a cattle pound in Nadiad, Gujarat. The court declared that “innocent animals cannot be sacrificed for public comfort” and expressed its shock and anger over the incident.

A Division Bench of Justices Ashutosh Shastri and Hemant Prachchhak came across a report detailing the incident while hearing a contempt of court plea filed in connection with a PIL seeking the court’s intervention to curb the stray cattle menace. The court was presented with an affidavit filed by Nadiad resident Maulik Shrimali, who described witnessing the carcasses of 30 cows dumped in an open area belonging to the Nadiad Municipal Corporation.

Justice Shastri expressed the court’s outrage, stating, “Very disturbing and shocking… We feel that under the guise of regulating and implementing a policy, these innocent animals cannot be sacrificed. For the comfort of human lives, we cannot allow such a thing.”

Demanding Accountability and Action

The court issued a series of directives in response to the incident:

  • Investigation: The court instructed the district collector to conduct an investigation into the matter and submit a report that includes details about the cattle pounds, the treatment provided to animals, and the number of operational pounds.
  • Action Plan: The court directed the government to provide a comprehensive plan outlining the measures in place to ensure the well-being of animals housed in cattle pounds.
  • Policy Implementation: While acknowledging the government’s previous efforts to address the stray cattle issue through policy implementation, the court emphasized the need for stronger action and close monitoring to prevent further incidents like this.

A Larger Issue

The court’s concern extends beyond the specific incident in Nadiad. Justice Shastri’s statement, “If this is happening, even God will not forgive us. Innocent animals cannot be done away like this. …Not a single innocent animal shall be sacrificed on account of public comfort. …This may be a part of some design,” raises broader questions about animal welfare and the treatment of stray cattle in India.

Moving Forward

The court’s intervention and strong stance serve as a reminder of the importance of animal welfare and the need for humane solutions to address issues like stray cattle. The government and concerned authorities must take necessary steps to improve the conditions in cattle pounds, ensure proper care for impounded animals, and implement effective policies that prioritize both public safety and animal well-being.

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