The Karnataka High Court on Monday ordered the state government to take suitable efforts to create goshalas for the welfare of stray animals in the territories selected by it in each district of the state. By the next date of hearing, the court further ordered the government to file a status report on the work done in this respect.
The government informed a division bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice S R Krishna Kumar that it had identified lands and allotted funds for the establishment of goshalas in each district. The court was given a compliance report.
The bench on going through the report said, "Land is identified and even money has been allocated, but in actual there is nothing, neither there is a goshala established nor any effort is being made to establish goshalas. Everything is on paper."
Following which the court in its order said, "AGA submits that lands have been identified for the purpose of establishing goshala in each district in the State of Karnataka and money has been allocated. However, no material is shown as to whether goshala has been established in any of the districts as stated in the said document."
"We are not satisfied with the details given in the compliance affidavit or document given, as regards to steps being taken by the state government to establish goshalas. Under these circumstances we direct the state government to take appropriate steps to establish goshalas in the lands identified in the document produced as Annexure R2 and file status report in this regard by the next date of hearing."
The government told the Court on March 5 that it has issued a government order providing for the building of Goshalas in each district. Following that, the court ordered the government's lawyer to prepare a new document bringing the government order as well as the plan for establishing a 'Goshala' in each district to the court's attention.
During the hearing of a petition submitted by the High Court Legal Services Committee in the year 2019, the bench issued the directive. It has asked the respondent to order the establishment of Goshalas in each Taluk. In addition, to offer necessary feed, water, shelter, and health care in Goshalas that are already in place or that will be created in the state of Karnataka. Though the relief was claimed for Goshalas, it is actually for the construction of cattle barns, and the relief is not limited to cows.
The petition cited a Supreme Court ruling in the matter of Animal Welfare Board Of India versus A.Nagaraja and Others, which stated that the right to dignity and fair treatment does not apply only to humans, but also to animals.
Clause (g) of Article 51-A, which establishes citizens' fundamental duties, as well as the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, were significantly cited by the Apex Court. On March 28, the case will be heard again. On June 7, the case will be heard again.