Kerala High Court Validates Act on Prohibition of Animal Sacrifice

Image Source: The Leaflet

The innocent animals being slaughtered have finally been released from the claws of religious practices and traditions after the Kerala High Court upheld the constitutionality validity of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968. This act prohibits the killing and maiming of animals in temples and religious precincts for the propitiation of any deity. 

This decision comes after a PIL was filed by Muraleedharan T. and Vimal CV from Kozhikode challenging the constitutionality of the act as it violated their right to practice animal sacrifice based on religious traditions and scriptures permitted under Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, 1960. The bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly dismissed the PIL by stating that no evidence was imminent to substantiate the sacrifice of animals and birds to be essentials of religion. Further, their statement clarifies that unless such acts are essentials of the religion, they are not protected under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which gives freedom of conscience and equal rights to all persons to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion subject to public order, health and morality. The court also justified its stance by pointing out the fact that Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 does not employ the word ‘sacrifice’. The judgment has also been referred from a Tripura High Court judgment that has banned the religious sacrifice of animals and birds in temples.

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