Single judge bench of Justice GA Sanap said that since animals cannot speak, they cannot demand their rights.
“Animals have emotions, feelings and senses similar to a human being. The only difference is that the animals cannot speak and therefore, though their rights are recognized under the law, they cannot assert the same. The rights of the animals, welfare of the animals and protection of the animals has to be taken care of by the concerned in accordance with law. It is to be noted that while considering the case of cruelty, to the animals in any form, the case has to be approached and decided with great sensitivity”, the judge observed.
The observations were made while hearing the plea by certain persons who applied for custody of 39 bovines claiming they had license for sale and purchase of those animals.
The animals had been intercepted and seized under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act when they were being transported in trucks illegally in an inhuman manner.
The petitioners, though not accused of the crimes, applied for custody of the animals claiming they had license for sale and purchase of the animals.
The Magistrate at Nagpur rejected the plea and this was upheld by the Sessions Court prompting the petitioners to move the High Court.
The petitioners argued that since final adjudication on the matter may take time, the animals could be handed back to them in the interim so that petitioners could also enjoy the income from the milching the buffaloes.