Animal & Environment Protection Laws

Laws protecting and ensuring the well-being and rights of animals & Environment are fairly good in India compared to countries like China, Japan, and even some advanced western countries. However, the implementation of these laws is very poor, partly due to government negligence and partly due to public negligence. Thus, even though the law of the land desires that animals be treated as first-class citizens, barring the right to vote, of course, in reality, Indian animals are treated merely as objects that move or as things, not as beings of sentiment, emotion and as an important part of our society.

Even though our culture does not encourage meat-eating on any scale near Western nations, the amount of cruelty happening on animals openly, is overwhelming and disgusting.

Hence it is very important for animal lovers to know that the law is very much on the side of animals. And more than that, there is a definite need for the general public to take active interest in the protection of interests of animals.

Here are some laws that every animal lover should know about:

Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 428
Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees.—Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animal or animals of the value of ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 429
Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.—Whoever commits mis­chief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Maharashtra Police Act (BPA) Section 119
Punishment for cruelty to animals:
Whoever in any place cruelty beats, goads, overworks, ill-treats or tortures, or causes procures to be cruelty beaten, goaded, over-worked, ill-treated or tortured any animal, shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two thousand five hundred rupees, or with both.

Read 2nd line from the below paper, this paper is there in all police station 




Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA) 1960
Section 11
11. Treating animals cruelly : (1) If any person
(a) beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes, or being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated; or
(b) employs in any work or labour or for any purpose any animal which, by reason of its age or any disease, infirmity; wound, sore or other cause, is unfit to be so employed or, being the owner, permits any such unfit animal to be employed; or
(c) wilfully and unreasonably administers any injurious drug or injurious substance to 14(any animal) or wilfully and unreasonably causes or attempts to cause any such drug or substance to be taken by any animal; or
(d) conveys or carries, whether in or upon any vehicle or not, any animal in such a manner or position as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering; or
(e) keeps or confines any animal in any -cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement; or
(f) keeps for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or unreasonably heavy chain or cord; or
(g) being the owner, neglects to exercise or cause to be exercised reasonably any dog habitually chained up or kept in close confinement; or
(h) being the owner of (any animal) fails to provide such animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter; or
(i) without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which tender it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation thirst; or
(j) wilfully permits any animal, of which he is the owner, to go at large in any street, while the animal is affected with contagious or infectious disease or, without reasonable excuse permits any diseased or disabled animal, of which he is the owner, to die in any street; or
(k) offers for sale or without reasonable cause, has in his possession any animal which is suffering pain by reason of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other ill treatment; or
(1) mutilates any animal or kills any animal (including stray dogs) by using the method of strychnine injections, in the heart or in any other unnecessarily cruel manner or;
(m) solely with a view to providing entertainment
(i) confines or causes to be confined any animal (including tying of an animal as a bait in a tiger or other sanctuary) so as to make it an object or prey for any other animal; or
(n) organises, keeps uses or acts in the management or, any place for animal fighting or for the purpose of baiting any animal or permits or offers any place to be so used or receives money for the admission of any other person to any place kept or used for any such purposes; or
(o) promotes or takes part in any shooting match or competition wherein animals are released from captivity for the purpose of such shooting:
he shall be punishable (in the case of a first offence, with fine which shall not be less than ten rupees but which may extend to fifty rupees and in the case of a second or subsequent offence committed within three years of the previous offence, with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five rupees but which may extend, to one hundred rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend, to three months, or with both.]
(2) For the purposes of section (1) an owner shall be deemed to have committed an offence if he has failed to exercise reasonable care and supervision with a view to the prevention of such offence;
Provided that where an owner is convicted permitting cruelty by reason only of having failed to exercise such care and supervision, he shall not be liable to imprisonment without the option of a fine.
(3) Nothing in this section shall apply to -
(a) the dehorning of cattle, or the castration or branding or noseroping of any animal in the prescribed manner, or
(b) the destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers 20[by such other methods as may be prescribed] or
(c) the extermination or destruction of any animal under the authority of any law for the time being in force; or
(d) any matter dealt with in Chapter IV; or
(e) the commission or omission of any act in the course of the destruction or the preparation for destruction of any animal as food for mankind unless such destruction or preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.

Housing Societies Law Regarding Pet Animals & Stray Animals

We will soon write in detail the various things that societies try to harass community animals and animal lovers, and how and why they are illegal.

Meanwhile, following is a letter from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) regarding this matter:





These should make it sufficiently clear that Resident Welfare Associations and Housing Societies cannot "ban" or curtail the freedoms of, pets, strays, community animals or even animal lovers, feeders and general citizens who take care of animals or tend to them, even by modifying Society Bye-laws, imposing rules, fines, regulations or any such illegal conditions.

Pawa India has followed the below procedure for tree cutting offence and the Fir was registered further Investigation is in process 

Check the link here  to see the incident and the FIR 

http://www.pawaindia.org/2014/10/fir-filed-against-chs-chairman.html

Tree cutting Offence


What to do if one is felling, cutting, trimming a tree in Mumbai, Maharashtra


A tree lover’s manual should be the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation of Trees Act, 1975 (as amended on 03.11.2006).

This act, among other things, categorically defines what constitutes felling. It includes burning or cutting or in any way damaging a tree. A tree is any perennial woody plant, whether in the seeding or sapling stage or fully grown stage, and includes shrubs whose branches spring from the ground level.

When can a tree be chopped?

Even if the tree is in private premises, it cannot be hacked without prior permission of the Tree Officer. In Mumbai, the civic chief is the chairperson of the Tree Authority which governs all the activities implemented under the Act. Even government bodies require permission from the Tree Authority for any developmental purpose.

There is a time schedule too. On receiving an application, a tree officer has to personally inspect the tree sought to be chopped and submit a report to the Tree Authority within 30 days. The officer has to give adequate public notice in local newspapers as well as by affixing a notice on a conspicuous part of the tree.

The Tree Authority then decides within 60 days whether or not to permit the felling. But even after permission is given, the tree cannot be chopped for 15 days. However, if the authority does not inform its decision within 60 days, the permission applied for shall be deemed to have been granted. 

Citizens’ rights 

As a citizen, you have the right to raise objections. It is not necessary to be residing in the same area where a tree is being hacked. For example, a Mumbai resident can take objection to a tree being felled in Nagpur or even Delhi provided the Union territory has a tree act.

When you see a notice for felling, you can write to both the Tree Authority and the local police station asking for the reason. Police officers are empowered by the act to take necessary steps for the preservation and protection of trees.

If you catch a person in the act of felling, you can ask for requisite legal papers in support of his action. If the person cannot produce the documents, you can complain to both the municipal authority and the police station.

If documents show that the municipal authority had failed to decide, a citizen can demand an explanation from the respective municipal council under the Right to Information Act, 2002. Till an explanation is forthcoming from the authorities, the tree cannot be felled.
Penalty:

Every act of chopping at different points of time, whether it is the same tree or different trees, constitutes a separate offense. The penalty includes a minimum fine of Rs 1,000 and maximum of Rs 5,000 with imprisonment from a week to a year.

Other provisions:

Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Societies Model Bye - laws: Bye-law No. 162 says: No member of the society shall destroy, deface or cut down any trees in the society's compound. A violation may render the member concerned liable for action.

There is another act, The Maharashtra Felling of Trees (Regulation) Act, 1964, that deals with protection and preservation of some select trees like teak, mango, mahua, sandal and tamarind including mangroves.

If the tree has fallen itself: 

Chapter V of the MPTA:

Restriction on Felling of Trees and Liability for Planting and Reservations of Trees.

Section 3:

(1) What if a tree has fallen due to natural forces?

If a tree falls on a property due to natural causes (rain, fire, lightening, wind, earthquake), the Tree Officer, on the basis of an inquiry and after giving reasonable opportunity to the owner/occupier of that property, may then by an order require the owner/occupier to replace the fallen tree of the same or similar species on the same or another suitable site.

(2) What is the Time limit of such order issued by the Tree Authority?

Any order received by the owner/occupier should be complied with, within 90 days of the receipt of the order.
Next time you see anyone felling / cutting / trimming a tree, you can take the help of an act to save the tree.

Tree cutting is a non cognizable offence. Becomes cognizable only after obtaining permission from M.M.Court U/s. 155 (2). This application for registering a case / FIR can be made by the Tree officer / Police Officer / any individual citizen. 

Step 1: If you catch a person in the act of felling, you can ask for requisite legal papers in support of his action. If the person cannot produce the documents, you can complain to both the Tree & Garden Department of MCGM (BMC) of your Ward and the local police station.

Step 2: Dial 100 and lodge a complaint about unauthorized tree cutting. 

Step 3: Take photographs of the persons and the tree cutting activity. 

Step 4: Simultaneously lodge complaints on police website <complaints@mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in > and on MCGM Website < http://mcgm.gov.in/ > and preserve the complaint numbers for follow ups till your grievance is redressed. 

Step 5: Visit the local Police Station. Probably the police will register only NC (non cognizable) offence and may ask you to approach M.M.Court (Metropolitan Magistrate Court of MCGM) with the complaint. Be firm and ask the Police themselves to approach M.M.Court to obtain permission to file FIR on the culprits as a tree is state / national property even if it is on a private land. 

Step 6: Contact various media with documentary evidence of your complaint.

Step 7: Contact concerned ministries with your complaints with evidence

J.B.Patel – Jeby Housing Societies' Activist His experience mention below
9820538570 jebypatel@rediffmail.com

My own recent experience on unauthorized tree cutting : 

I am RTI & Housing Societies Activist, aged 67 years, and an elected Secretary of Andheri Panchvati CHS Ltd., C.D.Barfiwala Marg, Juhu Lane, Andheri (West), Mumbai - 400 058. The society is being managed by an Administrator Shri Chandrakant L.Barge, appointed by the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, K West Ward, who has not handed over charge of the society till date to the elected Managing Committee declared on 02.12.2012. 
In relation to my complaints of un authorised cutting of thick, healthy and green branches of two huge appx. 40 feet tall Ashoka Trees by the Administrator in my society, I had to follow up with letters, emails, RTI applications, telephone calls, and above all, my personal visits to Tree & Garden Department of MCGM as well as local Police Station for at least 25 to 30 times. 

My original complaint about unauthorized tree cutting was lodged on 28.09.2013 with Juhu Police Station and MCGM, K - West Ward. On dialing police control room no 100, local police arrived exactly within 7 minutes. Un authorised cutting of the tree was stopped and the culprit was taken to Juhu Police Station for further action. I had accompanied them as witness. The officer on duty discussed something with the culprit and asked me to leave as my presence was not required by him. When I visited the police station again after about two hours to verify the action taken, I was shocked to learn that the culprit was allowed to go without making any interrogation or making statements. I was told that no case could be made of the incidence. (All the names of concerned persons are available on request.) 
Due to my continuous follow with to Juhu Police Station, Non Cognizable offence was registered only on 24.10.2013 U/s. 8 R/w 21 of Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation of Trees Act, 1975(as amended on 03.11.2006).

I was being tossed like a football from one office to another by both the departments between 28.09.2013 and 26.06.2014. At last to my good luck, officers concerned for the football game at Juhu Police Station got transferred in April / May, 2014 and more dedicated and loyal officers came in. They assured me and promised me of suitable necessary action as early as possible. They indeed worked sincerely on my complaint as a result, at last FIR was registered on the accused Administrator on 26.06.2014 after obtaining permission U/s. 155 (2) from the M.M.Court No.39 by Juhu Police Station. 

If you do not follow up with perseverance, your complaint is likely to go to cold storage or disappear from the records. You must follow up vigorously with both MCGM and Police departments. In spite of being an activist, it has taken me about nine months, besides spending energy and money on various visits and documentations just get one lawful FIR No. 90/14 dated 26.06.2014 registered.


Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001

The Central Government has framed the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 (hereinafter  called as ABC Rules for brevity sake) under the  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The  Relevant Rules, viz.Rules 3, 5(b), 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and  13 read as under:-

Rule 3: Classification of dogs and their  Sterilization:-

(1) All dogs shall be classified in one of the  following two categories;

(i) pet dogs, (ii) street dogs.

(2) The owner of pet dogs shall be responsible for the controlled breeding, immunization, sterilization and licensing in accordance with  these rules and the law for the time being in force within a specified local area.

(3) The street dogs shall be sterilized and immunized by participation of animal welfare  organizations, private individuals and the local authority.

Rule 5(b): The Committee constituted under Rule 4 shall be responsible for planning and management of  dog control programme in accordance with these rules. The Committee may authorize veterinary doctor to decide on case to case basis the need to put to sleep critically ill or fatally injured or rabid dogs in a painless method by using sodium pentathol. Any other method is strictly prohibited.

Rule 6: Obligation of Local Authority:

(1) The Local Authority shall provide for:-

(a) establishment of a sufficient number of dogs pounds including animal kennels/shelters which may be managed by animal welfare organizations;

(b) requisite number of dog vans with ramps for the capture and transportation of street dogs;

(c) one driver and two trained dog catchers to  be provided for each dog van;

(d) an ambulance cum clinical van to be provided as mobile center for sterilisation and  immunization.

(e) incinerators to be installed by the local authority for disposal of carcasses.

(f) periodic repair of shelter or pound.

(2) If the Municipal Corporation or the local  authority thinks it expedient to control street dog population, it shall be incumbent upon them to sterilize and immunize street Dogs with the  participation of animal welfare organizations,  private individuals and the local authority.

(3) The animal welfare organizations shall be reimbursed the expenses of sterilization/ immunization at a rate to be fixed by the Committee on fortnightly basis based on the number of sterilization/immunization done.


Rule 7: Capturing/ sterilization/ immunization/ release:


(1) Capturing of dogs shall be based on:

(a) Specific complaints (for which the local authority in consultation with the Monitoring Committee shall set up a dog control cell to receive complaints about dog nuisance, dog bites  and information about rabid dogs) and 


(b) General:


(i) On receipt of specific complaint about nuisance or dog bite the same shall be attended on priority basis, irrespective of  the area from which the complaint comes. On  receipt of such complaint the details such as name of the complainant, his complete address,  date and time of complaint, nature of  complaint etc. shall be recorded in a  register to be maintained for permanent  record.


(ii) Capturing for general purpose will be on  such dates and time to be specified by the  Committee.


(2) The dog capturing squad shall consist of:


(i) The driver of the dog van,


(ii) Two or more trained employees of the local authority who are trained in capturing of dogs,

(III) One representative of any of the animal welfare organization.

Each member of the dog squad shall carry, a valid  identity card issued by the local authority. The  dog capturing squad will be accompanied by a representative of an Animal Welfare Organisation nominated for the purpose.

(3) On receipt of specific complaint or for capturing dogs in normal course the dog squad will visit the concerned area, capture the dogs identified by the complainant in case of complaint  oriented capturing and other dogs in case of  general capturing. All the dogs caught will be  tagged for identification purposes and to ensure  that the dogs are released in the same area after  sterilization and vaccination. Only stipulated  number of dogs, according to the Animal Birth  Control Program target, shall be caught by the  van. A record of dogs captured shall be maintained in a register, mentioning therein the  name of the area/locality, date and time of capture, names of persons in the dogs squad on that particular day and details about dogs captured such as number of male dogs, number of female dogs, number of puppies etc.

(4) The dogs shall be captured by using humane methods such as lassoing or soft loop animal  catchers suah as those prescribed under the  provisions of Prevention of Cruelty (Capture of  Animals) Rules 1979.

(5) While the dogs are being captured in any  locality the representative of the local authority or of the animal welfare organization accompanying  the dog squad will make announcements on a public  address system that dogs are being captured from  the area for the purpose of sterilization and  immunization and will be released in the same area  after sterilization and immunization. The  announcement may also briefly educate the residents of the area about the dog control programme and solicit the support of all the residents reassuring them that the local authority is taking adequate steps for their safety.

(6) The captured dogs shall be brought to the dog kennels /dog pounds managed by the Animal Welfare Organizations (AWOs). On reaching the dog pounds all the dogs shall be examined by the veterinarians and healthy and sick dogs should be seperated. Sick dogs should be given proper treatment in the hospitals run by Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)/ other  institutions and only after they are treated they should be sterilized and vaccinated. The dogs will be sterilized/vaccinated under the supervision of the veterinarians of the hospital run by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Animal Welfare Organization or other dog shelters. After necessary period of follow up, the dogs shall be released at the same place or locality from where they were captured and the date, time and place of their release shall be recorded. The representative of Animal Welfare Organizations (AWOs) shall accompany the dog squad at the time of release also.

(7) At a time only one lot of dogs shall be brought for sterilization, immunization at one dog kennel or dog pound and these dogs shall be from one locality. Two lots from different areas or localities shall not be mixed at the same dog pound or dog kennel.

(8) The dog kennel must have sufficient space for proper housing and free movement of dogs. The place should have proper ventilation and natural lighting and must be kept clean. Adults and  puppies must be housed separately and amongst the adults the males and females also should be housed separately. Adequate arrangement for drinking water and food shall be made for dogs while in captivity.

(9) Female dogs found to be pregnant shall not undergo abortion (irrespective of stage of pregnancy) and sterilization and should be released till they have litter. 

Rule 9: Euthanasia of Street Dogs: Incurably ill  and mortally wounded dogs as diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian appointed by the committee shall be euthanised during specified hours in a humane manner  by administering sodium pentathol for adult dogs and Thiopental Introperitoneal for puppies by a qualified veterinarian or euthanized in any other humane manner approved by Animal Welfare Board of India. No dog shall be euthanised in the presence of another dog. The person responsible for euthanising shall make  sure that the animal is dead, before disposal.

Rule 10: Furious or dumb rabid dogs:

(1) On the receipt of complaints from the public to the Dog Control Cell of the Local Authority or on its own, the dog squad of the Local Authority would catch such dogs, suspected to be rabid.

(2) The caught dog would then be taken to the pound where it would be isolated in an isolation ward.

(3) The suspected rabid dog would then be subjected to inspection by a panel of two persons i.e. (i) a veterinary surgeon appointed by the Local Authority and (ii) a representative  from an Animal Welfare Organization.

(4) If the dog is found to have a high probability of having rabies it would be isolated till it dies a natural death. Death normally occurs within 10 days of contracting rabies. Premature killings of suspected rabid  dogs therefore prevents the true incidence of rabies from being known and appropriate action being taken.

(5) If the dog is found not to have rabies but some other disease it would be handed over to  the AWOs who will take the necessary action to cure and rehabilitate the dog.

Rule 11: Disposal of Carcasses: The carcasses of such euthanised dogs shall be disposed of in an incinerator to be provided by the local authority.

Rule 13: Application of rules where local bye-laws etc., exist; If there is in force in any area to which these rules extend, any Act, rule, regulation or bye-law made under any law for the time being in force by the State or the Local Authority in respect of any of the matters for which provision is made in these rules, such rule, regulation or bye-law shall to the extent to which -

(a) it contains provisions less irksome to the animal than those contained in these rules, shall prevail;

(b) it contains provisions more irksome to the animal than those contained in these rules, be of  no effect.

The above ABC Rules were brought into force on 24.12.2001.


Section 124A of IPC(Indian Penal Code)-Dhara-Dafa- Sedition

1124A. Sedition.— Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards. 2[* * *] the Government established by law in 3[India], 4[* * *] shall be punished with 5[imprisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Explanation 1

The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.

Explanation 2

Comments expressing disapprobation of the meas­ures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.

Explanation 3

Comments expressing disapprobation of the admin­istrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

Punishment—Imprisonment for life and fine, or imprisonment for 3 years and fine, or fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

COMMENTS

Sedition: meaning

The offence of sedition under section 124A is the doing of cer­tain acts which would bring the Government established by law in India into hatred or contempt, or create disaffection against it

Meaning and definitions of the terms used in the section description and classification of Indian Laws:

Cognizable offences : As defined in first schedule of Code of Criminal Procedure, a cognizable offence is a criminal offence in which the police is empowered to register an FIR, investigate, and arrest an accused without a court issued warrant.

Non-Cognizable offence : A non-cognizable offence is an offence in which police can neither register an FIR, investigate, nor effect arrest without the express permission or directions from the court.

Compoundable offence : Compoundable offence is permitted to settle before the court. 


Non-compoundable : Non-compoundable is not permitted to settle before the court. 

Section 153 of IPC(Indian Penal Code)-Dhara-Dafa- Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot-if rioting be committed-if not committed

Whoever malignantly, or wantonly, by doing anything which is illegal, gives provocation to any person intending of knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause the offence of rioting to be committed, shall, if the offence of rioting be committed in consequence of such provocation, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both ; and if the offence of rioting be not committed, imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

Para I

Punishment—Imprisonment for 1 year, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Non-compoundable.

Para II

Punishment—Imprisonment for 6 months, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

Meaning and definitions of the terms used in the section description and classification of Indian Laws:

Cognizable offences : As defined in first schedule of Code of Criminal Procedure, a cognizable offence is a criminal offence in which the police is empowered to register an FIR, investigate, and arrest an accused without a court issued warrant.
Non-Cognizable offence : A non-cognizable offence is an offence in which police can neither register an FIR, investigate, nor effect arrest without the express permission or directions from the court.
Compoundable offence : Compoundable offence is permitted to settle before the court. 

Non-compoundable : Non-compoundable is not permitted to settle before the court. 

Section 268 in The Indian Penal Code


268. Public nuisance.—A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right. A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.


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