The court also added that officials could still seize knives and other instruments which are used in the cock-fights.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said its January 9 order is clear that ban exists on cockfights in Andhra Pradesh and there was no need to clarify on this.
A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud refused to pass further orders when senior counsel Siddharth Luthra, appearing for animal activist Gauri, sought a clarification as the authorities are mis-reading the order and cockfights are carried on in the state of AP during Sankranti festival. The CJI said “our order is clear, the ban exists and there is no need to clarify further.”
Ms Gauri, a member of Animal Welfare Board, moved the Supreme Court to direct Andhra Pradesh Government to implement its order banning cockfights. She also said that despite high court orders, cockfights have been taking place all over in Andhra Pradesh. “Preparations are going on in Rajahmundry, Anantapur, Amalapuram, Eluru, Vijayawada, Kothagudem,” she said.
On January 9, upholding Hyderabad High Court’s order prohibiting cockfights, the Supreme Court refused to stay the ban. However, the apex court stated that the roosters that were seized by the authorities should be released. The court also added that officials could still seize knives and other instruments which are used in the cock-fights.
The BJP leader K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, which sought a stay on the Hyderabad High Court’s ban order. Raju argued that cock-fights were a traditional sport and the HC order infringed on an individual’s freedom to pursue a ‘sport’ of their choice.
The Hyderabad High Court had banned cock-fighting and directed the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to ensure that no cock-fight takes place during the Sankranti festival. The court extended the ban on cockfights on the whole and not just during the Sankranti festival in January.