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#AnimalWelfare Sensitisation & Training for Judicial Officers

Aristotle: At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.

Issue: Compulsory Animal Welfare Sensitisation to all Judicial Officers. (online change petition here)

The importance of this struck home -and hard -in the recent tragic Lara Murder. While quizzing the police on delay and a possible B report , an expert present mentioned that the police was not the only concern on ensuring punishment - apparently court convictions on animal offences are as low as 2%. This TWO Percent means 2 in every 100 animal abusers who actually reach the courts get punished, and ww know that hardly 10% of the FIR or cases actually get to court. This means 0.2% of all abusers ie 2 persons in every 1000 cases who are charged with a crime are punished. Over and above that, the PCA rule has merely a Rs 50 fine.

So while our complete reliance on the final bastion of the honourable judiciary is there, we forget how stretched they are, and how many new rules, amendments etc they need to keep track of. While animal cruelty and laws are one of the myriad things they deal with, they may not have oversight into some of the issues, finer points and repetitiveness of these crimes.

Particularly at local city or civic courts, crimes against animals barely get any hearing or importance. Given the possible lowered focus on animal cruelty, it is unsurprising to see that the conviction rates are so low. It is therefore both our bounden duty and practical orientation to ensure that the sensitisation on animal cruelty , animal welfare laws is available to the judicial officers to help get a perspective and therefore rule more effectively. As one of the judges himself pointed out, animal abusers are the start (or early symptom) of more heinous crimes against humans. Most pedophiles, rapists, psychopaths and murderers are well known to have been , or started as animal abusers. When there is a chance to address and quickly nip more and greater crimes, surely we should take it.

The law ministry, in the last quarter of 2013, “drafted a brief overview of legislative and policy initiatives taken in the recent past to be taught at judicial academies in 22 states”.[i] The measure was undertaken to help judges update their knowledge and further augment their skills ‒ elements critical for improving the efficiency and productivity of the judiciary and speedy delivery of justice. With several efforts underway to improve the justice delivery system in our country, has come the awareness that quality of justice is dependent on the performance of the judges, and that the performance can be enhanced only by properly and continuously educating our judges. Hence, after the Law Commission of India gave their inputs in 1986, the National Judicial Academy (and state level too) was created in 1993

'Hundreds of studies in the past four decades have shown there is a clear link between behavior involving violence against animals and interpersonal violence, including domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. To explain this link, researchers offer the “general deviance theory” that suggests animal cruelty is one of several anti-social/deviant behaviors that individuals may engage in throughout their lives.' Given this, should we not protect our society more

Needed Outcome: What so we want to see?

  1. Ensure strict action is taken on marquee cases , so as to set out a strong message and precedent, and to demonstrate both consistency and severity in punishment for animal crime.

  2. Start with Karnataka Judicial Academy as a pilot.

  3. Having animal cruelty cases be put in on a fast track for speedy punishment

  4. Ensuring the PCA act is used along with other relevant acts like IPC, Transport Act and others to ensure justice is done.

  5. To look at animals as sentient beings rather than goods or property

  6. Support and address animal lovers and welfarist in their quest for justice

Suggestions: How can we achieve this?

  1. Have a compulsory sensitisation course at National Judicial Academy

  2. Judges moving to higher positions in High Court and Supreme Court to do a compulsory sensitisation and brush up on the recent changes, laws and granularity around animal welfare. (Recently a High Court Judge was on the verge on passing sun Moto orders on pets/feeding/stray dogs in a public park, not realising it goes against the Supreme Court 2014 guidelines on stray dogs.)

  3. Have a refresher course run by animal welfare and NGOs on World Animal Day

  4. Open up cases and Have feedback from animal welfarist on any case , small or big involving animals

  5. Have young law graduates available on such cases to argue with the public prosecutor and give it their best shot

  6. Animal Welfare as a compulsory course in all law colleges

  7. Have a retired supreme court judge well versed in animal law to help create a curriculum, training and refresher for all judicial officers

Links: Information that gives references & insights...















  15. Pranjal Prashu: it is definitely the duty of the judiciary to work for the good of all, and perhaps that served as motivation, recently, the Indian Judiciary has been very proactive in increasing the scope of animal protection by interpreting the law in a wide manner. One of the most vivid examples would be the recent decision of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, and earlier the High Court of Uttarakhand to categorize animals as legal persons. This in essence, gives animals the same slew of rights that a legal person would enjoy.

Aristotle: At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.

We look forward to action on this issue so that our honourable courts, often the final bastion for animal lovers in India, can help us to help the helpless animals.

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