The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central government on a petition which has challenged the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules,2017.The rules were framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960.
The petitioner has said that the rules notified in 2017 are being used as a tool to seize and forfeit their cattle.
The 2017 rules allow a magistrate to forfeit the cattle of an owner facing trial under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.The animals are then sent to infirmaries,gaushalas.
The authorities can further give such animals for adoption.In short,a farmer or a traders loses his cattle even before he is adjudged guilty of cruelty under the 1960 Act.
The petitioner has said that that the 2017 rules have travelled beyond the boundaries of the 1960 Act.
Under Section 29 of the 1960 Act,private cattle can be forfeited only after the owner is convicted and had faced a previous conviction. The other situations include the probability of further cruelty from the owner if the cattle is left with him.
Besides,Section 38A of the PCA Act required any rule made under the 1960 Act to be laid before the Parliament.This has not been done with the 2017 Rules.