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Birds too have a fundamental right to fly in sky: HC

“It is the fundamental right of birds to live freely in the open sky,and it is the duty of every citizen to see that there is no unnecessary pain or suffering to animal or bird,”

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
May 14, 2011 2:48:58 am

In a knotty case,494 birds were seized from hawkers who moved court to get them back

“It is the fundamental right of birds to live freely in the open sky,and it is the duty of every citizen to see that there is no unnecessary pain or suffering to animal or bird,” a single-judge bench of Gujarat High Court (HC) observed in its recent judgment while ordering to set free 494 birds of different species that were recovered and taken into custody by Surat police from certain persons who kept them in cages and were selling them.

Surat police had arrested several persons for violation of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act when they were caught selling the birds in the open market. The wings and tails of birds were cut,cello-tape was put on their wings and there were rings on their legs so that they could not fly.

The birds were taken into custody of police as ‘muddamaal’ articles after which the accused moved an application to get the custody of their birds. But their application was rejected by the concerned magisterial court while ordering to set the birds free.

This order was challenged in the Sessions Court in the form of a revision application. The Sessions Court quashed the order of the magisterial court to set the birds free and ordered to give custody of the birds to a voluntary organisation. Following this order,the magisterial court also passed an order imposing a cost of Rs 1.05 lakh on the accused for maintenance of the birds,to be given to the voluntary organisation.

Aggrieved by this order,the accused moved the HC. The voluntary organisation also moved the HC while seeking permission to set the birds free.

After hearing the concerned parties,the bench of Justice M R Shah reinstated the original order passed by the magisterial court and ordered to set the birds free after doing panchnama of the same. While passing the order,Justice Shah emphasised the importance of fundamental rights of the birds to fly in the open sky.

Criticising the manner in which the birds were kept,the court observed,“Nobody has a right to inflict pain or suffering to others,including animals and birds. To keep birds in cages would tantamount to illegal confinement of the birds,which is in violation of right of the birds to live in free air/sky.”

“It is the fundamental right of the bird to live freely in the open sky,” the court said.

Justice Shah also observed,“When everybody is talking about fundamental rights of the citizen,such as,right to live freely,right to food,right to move freely etc.,the day has come to think about the rights of the birds and animals.”

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