A PIL was listed before the Delhi High Court on Wednesday alleging illegal transportation of camels from Rajasthan to the national capital for demonstration in the Republic Day event.

The petition, which alleged that guidelines for carrying and moving the animals are not complied with, came up for hearing before a Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, which asked the counsel for the petitioner to clarify whether the guidelines issued by the Central government under its circular regarding size and structure of camel vans is mandatory to be followed under the statute or law or it is simply an advisory.

The Bench adjourned the matter for further hearing on February 28.

The petition filed by organisation Scouts and Guides for Animals and Birds alleged that the authorities have deplorably failed in taking any steps in connection with the illegal transportation of camels in vehicles into Delhi for the January 26 event.

Due to this tradition, every year invariably, camels are illegally transported from Rajasthan and brought into the State of GNCTD. Moreover, since it is a case of committing cruelty towards a particular animal, under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Rules made thereunder, all the respondents are duty-bound to protect and promote the interests of the camels, the petition, filed through Advocate Ankur Bhasin, said.

It said as per the reply received from the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying dated September 30, 2021, on an RTI of the petitioner, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has unequivocally admitted that animals cannot be transported in vehicles that are permitted to carry other goods.

It alleged that the actions are not only violative of statutory prescriptions under the Motor Vehicles Act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act but also annihilate valuable rights of animals.

The plea said the petitioner has been raising his voice and concern against the illegal transportation of camels since last more than 10 years, however, not a single regulation and rule has been implemented and brought into effect by the government and AWBI.

It said no case has been registered against any of such misdeeds by any of the authorities who have been allegedly acting altogether in negligence.

The act of transporting camels and other animals for the purpose of the show at Republic Day parade on January 26 at Rajpath, India Gate is in contravention of the settled law which cannot be left unregulated by this court as non-action on the same would leave fundamental rights of the animals been compromised, it said.

The petition arrayed ministries of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Road Transport and Highways, Delhi Government and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) as parties.

With PTI inputs