India is to be known as a land where the all the diversities are being protected
and worshipped all over the world. Animals are one of the best companions for
human beings, but on the other hand they are victims of major cruelties, such
major exploitation gives rise to one single question whether animals also have
their own right to life. In recent times, after numerous discussion and debates
the majority are in the opinion that animals also have a right on their life.
When we look into legal factors, there have been acts established for
Available Animal Rights?
There is no debate on the rights of human but animalís rights have always been a
hot topic for discussion and debate as well. Before going in-depth itís
important to understand who are being termed as animal, there are two important
central laws which recognizes animals, according to section 2(1) of the Wildlife
(Protection) Act, 1972, it clearly states that animal includes amphibians,
birds, mammals, and reptiles, and their young, and also includes the eggs of
birds and reptiles
And Section 2(a) of the same act elaborates the
definition of the animals as, any creature
Evolution Of Animal Law
Due the backdrop incidents over the last half century the has assumed an
increasingly importance for animals protection, the evolution of animals law can
be traced by to 1960 when the cruelty to animals for finally criminalized under
Prevention of cruelty to animals act (1960), though there were certain
exception made for the treatment but after the recognition of this act in 1960
the animals welfare board of India ensured the anti-cruelty. Later, in the year
1962, the animals welfare board managed to set up as the principle regulatory
body, provisions were enforced just to protect the well-being of all the
This led to many enactments the breeding of and experiments on animals
rule was passed in 1998 which sets general rules for breeding and using animals
for research. In recent amendment in 2013 banned the usage of living animalís
experiments in medical education. Moreover, in 2014 India was recognized as the
first country in Asia to ban all testing cosmetics on animals and import of
cosmetics tested on animals.
Article 51A (g) elaborates the fundamental duty of
(g) To protect the natural environment like forest, lakes, rivers and wild life
and to have compassion for all the living creatures.
In order to extend the protection of animals rights and wellbeing, another
remarkable legislation was passed, which was most significantly focused on the
legislation on wildlife protection which is based on the ecosystem approach and
a regulatory regime of command and control in the wild life protection act. The
prime focus of this enactment was to control and prevent the practice of
smuggling and illegal dealing of wildlife.
Section 428 and 429 of Indian penal code (IPC) exclusively deals with the crimes
committed against the non-humans, which reads as:
428 states that mischief by killing or maiming animals of the value of 10
rupees.- anyone who commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering
useless any animals or animals of the value of10 or upwards, shall be punished
with imprisonment for two years, or with fine, or both.
429 elaborates that mischief by killing or maiming any cattle, etc., any animals
of the value of 50 rupees.óanyone who commits mis≠chief by killing, poisoning,
maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull,
cow or ox, whatever the value thereof, or any other animals of the value of 50
rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment for up to five years, or
with fine, or both.
Regarding the abuse and cruelty comes with the consequences. With regard to this
subject it recognizes all sorts of cruelty which is specified as cruel was, in
any circumstances provided under section 11 (a) to (o) of the prevention of
cruelty of animals act, 1960, divides the offences in two category, in first
category if any offence is been committed, offender will have to pay fine which
may be extended to 50 rupees and in the situation of second category offence
committed within three years of time span, he will be fined which must not be
not less than 25 rupees but may be extended to one hundred rupees or with the
imprisonment for a period of 3 month or both.
There are uncountable organizations of animals rights activists who work all
over world to protect these non-human, listing down some:
- Animals Aid
- Uncages campaigns
- Animals justice project
- People for animals
These organization strive to develop policies for the improvement of standard of
living of care and wellbeing, there also work to end animalís abuse, there are
many people who are engaged in ethical treatment of animals on the other hand
there too many instances where abuse happens and through their multi-pronged
approach they improve the lives of animals. Basically, protecting animals in the
wild and creating a better quality of life for animals.
The Constitution Of India And Animals Law
The supreme law of India which lays down the fundamental political code, rights
and duties of every citizens, directive principles of state policies, structure
and powers of governmental institution.
This establishes a constitutional
supremacy i.e. the Indian parliament cannot amend the basic structure of the
constitution. The Indian Constitution also recognized the sanctity of animalís
life and lays down protection and treatment of animals with dignity as a
fundamental duty of every citizens, which is evidently enclosed in following
Article 51A, states that:
Fundamental RightsAny breach of fundamental right is consider to be severe and the Supreme court
of India is approachable in regards to that under article 32 for constitutional
remedies. It is also pertinent to animalís welfare under article 21, right to
Article 21, right to life states that:
No person shall be deprived of his or personal liberty except according to
procedure established by law.
In respect to animals rights, the Supreme Court has brought some animals under
the ambit of the to life through an extensive reading on very popular (the Jallikattu case); Animals Welfare Board of India v. A Nagaraja & ors, supreme
court ruled in the favor of AWBI and by upholding the enforcement of ban on
jallikattu. It held that article 51A (g) of the constitution is the magna carta of animals rights and also made several observation relating to the
safeguard the life of animals under article 21 of Indian Constitution.
DPSPThe directive principles of state policy (DPSP) unlike the fundamental rights,
the DPSP cannot be challenged in any court. Moreover, it is the duty of states
to enforce them for constitution of a society. There are three directive
principles form the foundation of state policies on animalís welfare in India,
enlisted as followed:
Article 48, states that:
The state shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animals husbandry on modern
and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and
improving all the existing breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and
calves and all cattles.
There have always been a debate amongst the constituent assembly of the
constitution regarding article 48 have to be included as a fundamental right. In
respect to prevent non-hindus from consuming, the constituent assembly
ultimately accepted the provision as a DPSP instead.
Clearly enumerates that it shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment
and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
This article basically tries to place an obligation on part of state to
protect the environment and wildlife. While just not judicially enforceable.
This article is covered under the ambit of Article 21
In a renound case of M.C Mehta (2002) case PIL(public interest litigation) heard
by supreme court in the matter of sir pollution in Delhi. The observation was
made by the Supreme Court regarding Article 48A and public health and held that:
Article 39, 47 and 48A by themselves and collectively cast duty on the state to
secure the health of the people, improve public health and protect and improve
Enumerated Fundamental dutiesThe fundamental duties unlike fundamental right of the citizens are enumerated
under article 51A (part IV-A) of the constitution. This article was inserted
after 42nd amendment of 1976 to bring the Indian Constitution in accordance with
article 29(1) of the universal declaration of human rights. While it cannot be
enforced in courts
It must be the duty of every citizen of India:
(g) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes,
rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for all the creature;
(h) To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry.
In the case of Mirzapur Moti kureshi Kassab jamat (2005) case, it was held by
the Supreme Court that the only motive behind the inclusion of article 51A was
for it to be read with article 48 and 48A.
Attainable Legal Action:
There are powerful recognized laws in place which protects animals
Indian Penal code:Section 428 which provides punishment for killing, poisoning, maiming
irrespective of the fact if they are simple or rigorous, it attracts the
punishment for up to two years, or with a fine, or both and whereas section 429
states the punishment for any killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless
any animals or animals of the value of 50 Rs or upward (includes all cattleís
beast of burden irrespective of the fact if they are simple or rigorous, it
attracts the punishment of up to 5years, or with a fine, or maybe both.
The wildlife Protection Act (1972)It tries to prohibit injury to any wild animals or tress under section 39,
attracts the penalty for the person who is held guilty for an offence under this
particular act is imprisonment for a term of three years, or with a fine of
25Rs, or both. In the case of second offence committed, the term of imprisonment
will be seven years with fine of ten thousand rupees.
The prevention of cruelty to animals act, 1960The definition of cruelty is specifically provided under sec 11 (a) to (o).
Which clearly includes: cruelty against the personís own pet, inhumane
slaughter, inhumane transportation, inhumane living condition, tail docking, and
ear docking. The person who committed the crime will have to compensate with a
fine which shall extend to 50 rupees. In case of second offence, then heíll be
fined with not less that 25Rs but which may extend to 100 Rs or with the
imprisonment for up to three months or both.
In recent time, our judiciary have been actively working towards taking
magnificent steps taken towards animals. The scope for justice for brutality
caused to non-human is been widen. The only problem is that no citizen wants to
fight for animals. There are rules which tries to protect the dignity of
non-human. There is huge possible due to the recent developments and discussion
that humans and non-humans will be treated equally and there will be no scope