Mumbai: Taking a hard stand on `Victoria` horse carriages in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the city police to impound the carriages and horses plying without license and fitness certificate.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a PIL filed by the Animals and Birds Charitable Trust, alleging cruel treatment of the horses who pull these carriages, popularly known as Victorias and used for joyrides.
The bench was today informed that out of 130 Victoria owners, the traffic police had renewed the licenses of only 29. However, even those carriages which are yet to renew their licenses or obtain fitness certificates continue to ply.
The court had earlier directed all the carriage owners to apply for renewal of licenses by January 31.
"Despite the deadline several owners have not filed renewal applications. If a particular carriage does not have license then it will not be allowed to ply," the court said.
The court has now directed the police to impound any carriage found plying without license and fitness certificate for the horse.
"If the owner has fitness certificate then the horse may be released but the carriage should be seized for plying without license. The cart can be released after the renewed license is produced," the Chief Justice added.
The court also sought a report from the deputy municipal commissioner on the process of issuance of fitness certificates, after a lawyer appearing for People For Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) alleged irregularities in issuance of fitness certificates to horses.