New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the sacrifice of animals on Bakr-Eid (Eid al Adha) and the validity of a provision of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, saying the practice was "cruel, inhuman, barbarian" and cannot be protected in the name of religion.
The PIL, filed by seven Uttar Pradesh residents, has sought the court's direction to ensure that no animal is killed during the festival, called the feast of sacrifice, which is to be celebrated early next week.
"Issue a writ, order or direction or declaration to the effect that the practice of sacrifice of animals on Bakr-i-Eid day is unconstitutional and same cannot be resorted to by any member of the public," the petition said.
The plea, filed through lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, has challenged the constitutional validity of Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act which exempts the killings under religious practices and reads: "Nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community."
"Issue a writ, order or direction striking down Section 28 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 as unconditional, being ultra vires to Article 14,21 and 25 of the Constitution," it said.
The PIL has made Ministries of Home Affairs, Law and Justice and Environment and Forest and Animal Welfare Board of India as parties.
"Tendency to sacrifice animals, even on roads and public places, are developing fast every year on Bakr-Eid in the most uncouth and inhuman manner and litres of blood is spread at public places affecting the sentiments of public at large," the plea said.
"It is most respectfully submitted that animals sacrifice on Bakr-Eid day is cruel, inhuman, barbarian, decency and morality and the same cannot be protected in the name of religion as such practice is in violation of Article 14,21 and 25 of the Constitution of India," it said.