Punjab & Haryana High Court Declare That All Animals Are ‘Legal Persons’

Stories of animals being abused have been doing rounds on the internet for a long time. Whether it’s about elephants dying due to performance pressure or something as gruesome as men raping cows in India, every day brings forward a new form of abuse for these helpless creatures. In an attempt to put an end to this abuse, Punjab & Haryana High Court have declared that all animals are ‘ legal persons’ and here is what it means.

What Is It?

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered that the animals in Haryana will be getting the status of a legal person or entity along with granting them the corresponding rights, of a living person.

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The verdict passed by justice Rajiv Sharma states that animals cannot be treated as “objects” or “property” and are “entitled to justice”. He debated that when corporations, Hindu idols, holy scriptures, rivers have been declared legal entities, to protect and promote greater welfare of animals including avian and aquatic, animals are also required to be conferred with the status of a legal person.

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What’s In It?

The guidelines issued by Justice Sharma ensure that drought animals do not carry more than the prescribed load while pulling a vehicle. Bullock cart, camel cart, and horse cart owners are directed to put florescent reflectors in front and back of their carts. Animals shall also be covered with stripes of fluorescent reflectors for their identification at night.

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What’s More?

Animal rights supporters all across the globe celebrated this as a small win towards the larger goal of preserving all life forms. Many took to social media to applaud this judgment by Haryana HC. One of them was Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez who is known to be an environmentalist.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Justice Sharma took steps for the preservation of other life forms apart from humans. While he was the part of the bench at Uttarakhand in 2017, he declared the rivers Ganga and Yamuna as living entities although the verdict was stayed by the Supreme Court.

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Well, we for one salute Justice Sharma for this step that he has taken for the security of animals and hope that the abuse against them come to an end.

Angel Srivastava
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