SC dismisses PIL seeking declaration of all animals as legal entities

SC dismisses PIL seeking declaration of all animals as legal entities
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The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL seeking declaration of all animals as legal entities having rights like any living person.

A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala dismissed the PIL saying "we find that the prayer sought in the writ petition cannot be granted by this court in its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India."

"The writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed," it added.

The PIL filed by the NGO People's Charioteer Organisation said that of late cases of cruelty towards animals have come to light which have raised questions as to how humans have absolutely no respect for animals' lives and how can they be absolutely devoid of sympathy.

"Such incidents have further enraged many and made one ponder as to whether the laws in existence are sufficient enough to protect animals from possible abuse and cruelty," the plea said, while referring to various incidents of cruelty in various states.

It sought direction of the court to declare all the citizens of the country as "persons in loco parentis" (in place of a parent) for the protection of animals from cruelty and abuse and to ensure their welfare.

The PIL placed reliance on verdicts of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Uttarakhand High Court, whereby all animals in the animal kingdom were recognised as legal entities and all the people were declared as "persons in loco parentis".

It had also sought direction to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to report and publish data and statistics relating to animal cruelty and crimes against animals, including cases reported and convictions under various laws in its annual report.