Kapil Dev’s PIL in Delhi High Court Seeks Stricter Animal Welfare Laws

Legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, along with his wife Romi Dev and animal rights activist Anjali Gopalan, has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Delhi High Court seeking stricter laws against cruelty to animals. The PIL challenges certain provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The petitioners argue that Sections 11(1), 11(3)(b), and 11(3)(c) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, along with Sections 428 and 429 of the IPC, are unconstitutional. Section 11 of the Act deals with cruelty to animals and prescribes fines and imprisonment for offenses. The petitioners assert that these penalties are insufficient and lack a deterrent effect to address the brutality and crimes committed against animals in India.

Additionally, the PIL contends that Sections 428 and 429 of the IPC, which deal with offenses related to causing harm or killing animals, create an unreasonable classification. These sections differentiate between offenses based on the commercial and utility value of the animal, leading to varying penalties for the same offense, depending on the value of the animal. This classification is deemed arbitrary and unreasonable.

Kapil Dev and the other petitioners seek amendments to these provisions to ensure stricter and more appropriate penalties for those found guilty of cruelty to animals. They emphasize that the prevailing penalties trivialize the lives of animals and do not adequately address the severity of the offenses committed against them.

In response to the PIL, the Delhi High Court has issued notices to several authorities, including the Central government, the Animal Welfare Board, the Delhi government, and Delhi Police. These authorities are required to file their responses within four weeks, and the matter is scheduled for the next hearing on December 19.

The PIL brought forward by Kapil Dev and others highlights their commitment to animal welfare and their efforts to strengthen India’s legal framework against cruelty to animals. They aim to protect the rights and well-being of animals, promoting a more humane society where animals are treated with greater compassion and care.

As the case progresses, it may prompt changes in the legal landscape surrounding animal rights and cruelty prevention in India. The responses of the authorities involved will shed light on the potential for legal reforms in this critical area.