How Kerala High Court avoided a ‘CATastrophe’

The Kerala High Court allowed a writ petition against the denial of vehicle pass to the petitioner for buying food for his cats. Avoiding a CATastrophe. The petitioner appeared before the HC through video conferencing. He said that as a pure vegetarian, he does not cook non-vegetarian food in his house. And, over the years, his cats have been fed with the ‘Meo Persian‘ biscuits and they cannot do without them.

He stated that one packet of 7 KGs of the biscuits would be sufficient for his cats; for the duration of the lockdown. Thus, he applied for a permit to travel to Cochin Pet Hospital for the biscuits. However, the permit was denied to him. The petitioner stated that animals too have Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution. Relying on the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. He referred to Animal Welfare Board of India v A. Nagaraja – 2014 (7) SCC 547. Further, he pointed out that animal feed and fodder is a part of the declared “essential items” by the government. That the denial of a permit to him was ‘illegal and arbitrary‘.

The Decision

The court also relied on the viewpoint as discussed in the case Animal Welfare Board of India v A. Nagaraja and held, “The decision of the Supreme Court in Nagaraja (Supra), manifests this shift in judicial thinking, from one of merely safeguarding animal welfare, to recognizing a right and dignity in animals to live lives free from cruelty.

Given the submissions, the HC passed directions to permit the petitioner to travel to Kadavanthara, Kochi, to procure the said item of cat food, on his producing a self-declaration stating the purpose of his travel, along with a copy of the judgment. “Before parting with this case, we might observe, in a lighter vein, that while we are happy to have come to the aid of the felines in this case, we are also certain that our directions will help avert a “CATastrophe” in the petitioner’s home.” – The HC Held.

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