In this post we will discuss about a PIL that was filed in the Supreme Court for protection of animals from being slaughtered and recognizing their right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Should Animals too have right to life under Article 21? SC asks Centre

Do animals have a right to life?
Do animals have a right to life?


In the event that animals have the right to life as guaranteed to people under Article 21 of the Constitution, to be barred from killing them without penalty of law, the Supreme Court ordered the Center on Wednesday to follow the PIL seeking a ban on widespread killings of animals throughout the country for religious or other reasons, reports Dhananjay Mahapatra.

Facts of the case

A Public Interest Case is brought before the Supreme Court seeking to bar the Central & State Governments from allowing any animal / chicken to be slaughtered by Halal, causing them to bleed in excruciating circumstances before death.

The petitioner herein is Vishwa Jain Sangathan, a registered group of adherents of the Jain faith who believe in total and absolute non-violence against any creature created by God. The petitioner represents the community of vegetarians suffering from violent barbarous eating practises of certain people consuming domestic and wild animals for mere ‘change of taste’ and endangering the whole human race produced by Evolution by Natural Selection.

The petition notes that the atrocious practise of ‘change of taste’ of others specifically affects the very core of Article 21, which provides absolute security of ‘right to life’ except in breach of Sections 48 and 48-A of the Constitution. The applicant has a statutory obligation under Article 51-A(g) to protect all innocent non-human lives produced by Accident.


Legal Standpoint

CJI Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian peppered counsel Devesh Saxen, appearing for NGO People’s Charioteer Organisation, asking why the court should deem animals ‘natural bodies’ to be regarded as human property and slaughtered against their will.

CJI Bobde said, “Do you get what you’re talking about? When these animals are considered legal bodies, this will mean that they can sue or be sued for damages. Are they afraid of suing or suing? We realise why they are breathing things. That is the justification for the implementation of the Act on the Elimination of Cruelty to Animals. “The Board decided to request clarification from the Center and other Governments, but explained that” it is impossible that we will allow animals to be legal bodies.


The result of the hearing may have a far-reaching socio-economic effect in a multicultural country like India. If the SC refuses to impose the right to life on animals, then a constitutional law must be enforced to allow for a system for all sorts of animal kills, including ritual sacrifices in temples and during the Eid era. Since the 1960s, many states have also passed laws restricting the killing of cows.


This post was written by Kasha Doshi.

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