Acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Honourable Justice Rajeev Sharma, has written some of the finest judgements on animal cruelty. These should be taught to all judges who come for training, in specific subjects, to Bhopal. Justice Sharma is known for expeditious disposal of cases and his concerns for nature and environment. Justice Sharma has delivered landmark judgments, such as granting living entity status to the Ganga and the animal kingdom. And, when the mind deepens and expands, it understands injustice and suffering for all, so I am not surprised that Justice Sharma has also delivered important judgments such as deletion of caste from FIRs, directives for preventing suicides by farmers, abolishing age-old system of solitary confinement for death penalty convicts, and a series of other reformist orders in the realm of education, health and mental health.
Now comes the judgement from the Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh banning animal sacrifice in the temples of Tripura. The public interest litigation was filed by a former judicial service officer, Subhas Bhattacharjee, last year. This is a welcome judgement, because it clearly understands the greed of priests and the economic roots of inventing such a ritual. It also understands that barbaric rites have no place in a civilised society – not even when they go under the banner of “culture”. For the first time in 525 years, there will be no sacrifices at the Durga Bari temple in Agartala. And that is wonderful.
All over the world the judiciary is taking note of animal cruelty, and intervening in areas where the executive is too lazy, indifferent, or too vote conscious to intervene.
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