The Bombay High Court Monday rejected a review petition filed by a group of Victoria carriage owners against the ban on the plying of these horse-drawn buggies in Mumbai. The court held that there was no merit in the petition. The carriage owners were represented by advocate A V Chatuphale. Their main contention was that the Bombay Public Conveyance Act, 1920, under which the carriages were operating, was not a redundant Act and while the carriages might not be used for commuting, they were still required for joyrides.
The petition had further alleged that while in the case of Jallikattu, bullocks were emotionally tortured, this was not the case with horses that draw these carriages. The order relating to Jallikattu had been taken into consideration when directions were passed in this case. In the judgment passed by the court in 2015, it had said that Victorias did not fall in the category of “public conveyance” under the Bombay Public Conveyance Act 1920.
It had directed the Bhrihan-mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to put a complete stop in one year on the carriages, famously known as ‘Victoria’ carriages, as they are “illegal and violative of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act”. The court had also asked the state to frame a comprehensive policy to rehabilitate the people (carriage owners and coachmen) who would be affected by the ban and the horses. When the matter came up for hearing in March, the government had said that it was in the final stages of framing the policy.