Ahmedabad: Gujarat High court has ordered
the release of 494 birds held captive in cages, saying that it
was the fundamental right of birds to fly in the open sky and
their confinement was violation of their right to live freely.
The order was passed last week by Justice MR Shah
while dealing with a bunch of petitions where the issue under
question was whether birds have a right to live freely
and whether they can be kept in cages or whether by keeping
them in cages violates their fundamental rights.
A bunch of petitions was filed by bird sellers of
Surat demanding custody of the caged birds which were
confiscated by police under the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals Act, 1960 and under section 12 of the Wildlife
Protection Act, 1972 last year.
"To keep birds in cages would tantamount to illegal
confinement of the birds which is in violation of right of the
birds to live in free air/sky," the court observed.
"It is the fundamental right of the bird to live
freely in the open sky," it added, while ordering the release
of 494 birds like parrots, doves, pigeons, love-birds and
animals like rabbits and dogs, that were seized from bird
seller Abdul Kadar Sheikh and others, and were placed with an
NGO running shelter for birds and animals.
"The only order which can be passed in such
circumstances would be to set the birds free in the sky and if
such an order is passed it would be respecting the rights of
the birds," the court said in the order.
The court also was of the opinion that prima facie
offence of atrocity on birds and animal was made out against
the bird sellers.