Over 2 lakh Indian cases. Search powered by Google!

Case Details

GREAT ROYAL CIRCUS versus THE CHIEF INSPECTOR

High Court of Madras

Case Law Search

Indian Supreme Court Cases / Judgements / Legislation

Judgement


Great Royal Circus v. The Chief Inspector - Writ Petition No. 4421 of 2003 [2003] RD-TN 269 (28 March 2003)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS



Dated: 28/03/2003

Coram

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P. SATHASIVAM

Writ Petition No. 4421 of 2003

and

W.P.M.P.No. 5546 of 2003

Great Royal Circus,

represented by its Manager

Mr. Pavithiran. .. Petitioner. -Vs-

1. The Chief Inspector,

Society for the Prevention of

Cruelty to Animals,

No.67, Vepery High Road, Chennai-7.

2. The Manager,

Vandalur Zoo, Vandalur, Chennai.

3. The Animal Welfare Board of India,

represented by its Secretary,

3rd Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar,

Chennai-600 041.

(3rd Respondent was impleaded as per

Order of Court dated 25-3-2003). .. Respondents. Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus, as stated therein.

For Petitioner :: Mr. G. Masilamani,

Senior counsel for Mr. P. Jerome Pushparaj For 1st Respondent :: Mr. Gopalakrishnan (SPCA). Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Govt., Advocate for

Mr. V.S. Sethuraman, Spl.Govt., Pleader(Forest) for R-2.

Mr. P.N. Prakash:- For R-3.

:ORDER



By consent of all the parties main writ petition itself is taken up for disposal. Great Royal Circus, through its Manager Pavithiran has filed the above Writ Petition to issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents to hand over four Chimpanzees, seized from the petitioner company to the petitioner.

2. The case of the petitioner is briefly stated hereunder: According to the petitioner, their Circus company is in existence of more than 60 years and the animals in custody of the petitioner are acquired under valid licence and some are breeded in the circus campus. The animals have individual trainers kept under the continuous attention and care unlike the Zoo. There is no suffering and distress to other animals. In their circus company they are having Lions, Bears, Elephants, Leopards, Monkeys, Hippopotamus, dogs, horses and 4 Chimpanzees, out of which one is old, aged more than 35 years. By Notification dated 14-10-98 issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Delhi, the exhibition and training of animals such as Lion, Tiger, Panther, Bear and Monkey were prohibited. They secured valid permission or certificate to perform circus. The petitioner is now camping at Chennai and is not performing or in possession of the banned animals such as Lion, Tiger, Panther, Bear and Monkeys. While so, all of a sudden, on 9-1-2003, the first respondent in a arbitrary manner and on the false complaint given by the Blue Cross Society has entered into the circus premises with full police force and seized 3 Chimpanzees and handed over the same to the 2nd respondent-Manager, Vandalur Zoo. The said seizure is illegal, arbitrary and without jurisdiction. Without conducting any enquiry on the alleged complaint, the first respondent committed an error in seizing the animals with the aid of police force. Without a proper complaint under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and without following due process of law, the custody of performing animals cannot be taken away by the first respondent. In such circumstances, the petitioner circus has filed the above writ petition.

3. Heard Mr. G. Masilamani, learned senior counsel for the petitioner; Mr. Gopalakrishnan for first respondent; Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Government Advocate for second respondent; and Mr. P.N. Prakash for third respondent. 4. The only question to be decided in this writ petition is, whether any direction is to be issued to the respondents for handing over the 4 Chimpanzees, seized from the petitioner circus company to the petitioner? 5. Though the petitioner circus are having other animals, we are not concerned with the other animals and the writ petition pertains to seizure of four Chimpanzees by the Chief Inspector, Society for Cruelty of Animals and handing over of three Chimpanzees on 9-01-2003 and another one on 15-01-2003 to Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, Chennai-48 for providing veterinary care and assessing the health status of these Chimpanzees. 6. In order to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to prevent cruelty to animals, the Parliament enacted the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 ( Act 59/1960)(hereinafter referred to as "the Act"). Section 11 speaks about treating animals cruelly. Section 11 (1) (e) and (f) is extracted hereunder:

"Section 11. Treating animals cruelly.- (1) If any person- (e) keeps or confines any animal in any cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement; or

(f) keeps for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or unreasonably heavy chain or cord; " According to the first respondent, since the petitioner company has violated the above provision of Law, a complaint has been lodged before the Inspector of Police, Periamet Police Station, Chennai and a case has been registered against the petitioner in G-2 Crime No.50/2003 under Sections 428, 429 I.P.C. and Section 11 (1) (e) and (f) and Section 26 (a) of the Act. Chapter V of the Act deals with performing animals. Every person desirous of exhibiting or training any performing animal shall make an application in the prescribed form to the prescribed Authority and on payment of the prescribed fee, the same has to be registered. Section 23 speaks about procedure for registration. Section 29 gives power to the Court to deprive a person convicted of ownership of animal. If the owner of any animal is found guilty of any offence under this Act, the Court upon his conviction thereof, may, if it thinks fit, in addition to any other punishment make an order that the animal with respect to which the offence was committed shall be forfeited to Government and take further order as to the disposal of the animal as it thinks fit under the circumstances. In the light of the fact that a F.I.R. in G-2 Periamet Police Station Cr.No.50/2003 has been registered by the police against the petitioner under Sections 428, 429 I.P.C. and Section 11 (1)(e) and (f) and 26 (a) of the Act and that the case is now under investigation, I am of the view that until the Criminal case is disposed of, no Mandamus can be issued by this Court as claimed by the petitioner. 7. It is also relevant to refer Section 34 which speaks about general power of seizure for examination. As per this Section, any police officer above the rank of a constable or any person authorised by the State Government in this behalf, who has reason to believe that an offence against this Act has been or is being committed in respect of any animal, may, if in his opinion the circumstances so require, seize the animal and produce the same for examination by the nearest Magistrate or by such veterinary officer as may be prescribed. Section 35 speaks about treatment and care of animals. Mr. G. Masilamani, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, contended that though the authorities have seized 4 Chimpanzees from the custody of the petitioner on 9-1-2003, based on the complaint of the first respondent, the respondents have no right to retain the animals forever. As stated earlier, we are not concerned with the other animals and the aspect regarding permission or licence obtained by the petitioner circus for performing circus by using the other animals. It is seen that based on the complaint given by the the first respondent, four Chimpanzees from the petitioner circus were seized by the Chief Inspector, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on 9-1-2003 and 15-1-2003 and all the four Chimpanzees were handed over to Arignar Anna Zoological Park for providing veterinary care and also to assess the health status of the animals. It is further seen that these four Chimpanzees were checked by the Veterinary Officer of that Park and he has reported the health status of the animals on 15-1-2003. Pursuant to the direction, the Director of the said Park has furnished the following information regarding the four Chimpanzees kept in their Zoo:

"...Out of the 4 chimpanzees, the chimpanzee Lakshmi is bedridden with severe decubitous ulcers over the bony projections in the hip and back regions, muscular atrophy of hind limbs, no sensitivity in the hind limbs, paraplegia. Lakshmi is being treated with antibiotics and supportive therapy. The condition of the animal ( Lakshmi) is very critical and hence the prognosis is grave.

When the male chimapnzee Guru which is about 11 years old was brought to Arignar Anna Zoological Park, it showed abnormal behaviour towards strangers by spitting, throwing faecal matter and urine. The other two chimpanzees were lethargic. All the 4 chimpanzees were provided medical care and various zoo and Chimpanzee specialists have been contacted for the treatment of paraplegic Chimpanzee. The Madras Veterinary College Doctors have also inspected the Chimpanzees a number of times and several tests were conducted in the college laboratory.

The male Chimpanzee Siva which is about 22 years old was suffering with Chronic enteritis of bacterial origin and was severely anemic was being given a prophylactic course of broad spectrum anti-biotics and haematinics since its arrival on 09-01-2003 and when it was left in the large paddock area of the convalescent yard of the Veterinary centre it did not move much and remained seated at one place and did not respond to the keepers call and finally on 15-03-2003 morning it has died. A team of Veterinary Doctors of Arignar Anna Zoological Park and Madras Veterinary College have been requested to conduct the post-mortem."

According to the above report of the Director, one of the Chimpanzees died on 15-03-2003 in spite of best veterinary care taken by the hospital. 8. There is no dispute that Animal Welfare Board of India (in short "AWBI"), the impleaded third respondent, is the prescribed authority for registration under Section 23 of the Act in respect of exhibition of performing animals including circuses. It is further seen that the AWBI in association with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.) local police and animal activists rescued four Chimpanzees from the Great Royal Circus and handed over them to the Zoo authorities. I have already referred to about the launching of a complaint against the petitioner circus and upon which a F.I.R. was registered by G2 Police Station under Sections 428, 42 9 IPC and Sections 11 (1) (e) and (f) and 26 (a) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the case is still under investigation. I have also referred to the health condition of Chimpanzees and also the death of one Chimpanzee out of four in the Zoo. I have also referred to that Section 34 empowers the prescribed authority to seize any animal for examination. It is also brought to my notice that the 4 chimpanzees were kept in a caravan in the petitioner circus. Now these chimpanzees are provided in a new home in Arignar Anna Zoological Park with more area in an hygienic and good atmosphere. Undoubtedly the persons incharge of Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalor with the assistance of veterinary Doctors would take care of the Chimpanzees. Depending on the outcome of the criminal prosecution, it is open to the petitioner to move the appropriate Court for further direction if the same is permissible under law. At this juncture, in the light of the legal provisions and in view of the health condition of the Chimpanzees, the facilities being provided to them in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park and also taking note of the interest and health of the Chimpanzees, I do not find any valid reason to accede to the request of the petitioner; consequently the Writ Petition fails and the same is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, WPMP No. 5546/2003 is closed. It is stated that from the date of seizure from the Circus, the Chimpanzees are still chained on the neck. I am of the view that they will feel more comfort if the chain is removed. Accordingly, the petitioner is directed to depute a trained personnel to go over to the 2nd respondent Zoo and remove the chain fixed on the neck of the Chimpanzees, with the permission of the 2nd respondent.

28-03-2003

R.B.

Index:- Yes

Internet:- Yes

To:-

1. The Chief Inspector,

Society for the Prevention of

Cruelty to Animals,

No.67, Vepery High Road, Chennai-7.

2. The Manager,

Vandalur Zoo, Vandalur, Chennai.

3. The Animal Welfare Board of India,

represented by its Secretary,

3rd Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar,

Chennai-600 041.




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

Advertisement

dwi Attorney | dui attorney | dwi | dui | austin attorney | san diego attorney | houston attorney | california attorney | washington attorney | minnesota attorney | dallas attorney | alaska attorney | los angeles attorney | dwi | dui | colorado attorney | new york attorney | new jersey attorney | san francisco attorney | seattle attorney | florida attorney | attorney | london lawyer | lawyer michigan | law firm |

Tip:
Double Click on any word for its dictionary meaning or to get reference material on it.