Declared ‘Cow’ as India’s National Animal: Court

The Rajasthan High Court directed the state government to coordinate with the Centre and take necessary steps to declare cow as a national animal.

The single bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Sharma gave the judgement on a petition by Jago Janata Society, an NGO, alleging corruption and mismanagement of the Hingonia goshala near Jaipur.

“Nepal is a Hindu nation and has declared cow as national animal. India is a predominant agriculture country based in animal rearing. As per Article 48 and 51A (g) it is expected from the state government that they should take action to get a legal entity for cow in this country,” court said in his order.

While Article 48 of the Constitution says the State should take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle, Article 51A(g) speaks of protecting natural environment and having compassion for living creatures.

“It is expected from the government that it should declare cow as national animal and for this purpose the Chief Secretary and Advocate General of state are declared legal custodians of cow,” the judge said in its order.

Justice Sharma passed the following directions in its order:

(1) Keeping in mind that cattle and calves are weak living beings, Hindus have a deep devotion towards the cow, and Nepal, being a Hindu state, under its new constitution, has declared cow as their national animal. Also, agriculture and animal husbandry are the primary contributors to the Indian economy. Along with this, keeping in mind under Articles 48 and 51A (g) of the constitution, providing cows the status of a legal entity, it is expected of this government to declare cow as the national animal.

Thus, the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, and the Advocate General are being appointed as persons in loco parentis for preservation of cattle and to take appropriate steps in order to get cow declared as the national animal.

(2) The Chief Secretary and the Advocate General will take appropriate steps to communicate the sentiments of this court with the respective departments of the Central government for preservation and protection of cattle, also to get cow the status of legal entity and declare it as the national animal.

(3) Director/Chief of Anti-Corruption Bureau of the state government is directed to personally conduct an inquiry into the corruption allegations with regard to Hingonia gaushala. In case someone is found guilty of corruption, an FIR can be registered against the person and a report of the same be presented before this court.

(4) It is also expected of the state government to prevent any encroachment on the said land for the Hingonia gaushala as laid down in the deputy collector’s report.

(5) It is expected of the state government and the municipality to ensure that there is no shortfall in funds for overall development of the Hingonia gaushala.

(6) It is also expected of the state government to increase the punishment for cow slaughter under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995, to life imprisonment so that bovine animals can be protected.