Kerala High Court Averts ‘CATastrophe’ Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
The lockdown to combat spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic brought before the Kerala High Court a rather unique dispute—denial of a vehicle pass by the police authorities to N Prakash to obtain cat food.
This prompted N Prakash to knock on the door of the high court to allow him to travel to Cochin Pet Hospital to buy “Meo-Persian” Biscuits for his three cats. The cats cannot do without these biscuits, and being a vegetarian, he cannot cook non-vegetarian in the house for them, the petitioner argued. Further, “animal feed and fodder” have been listed as essential items by the central government for which movement is permitted during the lockdown, he said.
The high court pointed to the fundamental duties in the Constitution to emphasise that it’s the duty of every citizen to protect the natural environment and wildlife, and have compassion for living creatures. The apex court too has recognised the right of animals to live a life free of cruelty. Lastly, the World Health Organization has recognised rights and freedom for animals, some of which are guaranteed by Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Act, 1960 in India.
Relying of this elucidation of the legal position, the court upheld the petitioner’s right to obtain a pass for procuring food for his feline friends. And just like that, in the court’s own words, a “CATastrophe” has been averted in the petitioner’s home.