Mumbaikars can continue enjoying Victoria horse rides this Christmas Eve and New Year as the Bombay high court on Tuesday extended the date for the owners to get valid licences and fitness certificates for the horses that pull the carriages to January 15.
Previously, the court had passed an order setting a deadline of November 30 for owners to do the needful.
However, the state government informed the court on Tuesday that it has begun inspecting the city’s stables and that the process would take at least eight weeks to be completed.
Taking this into consideration, a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and justice Anoop Mohta extended the deadline to January 15. Those who fail to get the necessary documents will not be allowed to ply on the roads.
The bench said “Finish the process by then, and don’t come back and say that you just started it.”
The court, while extending the deadline, directed the state government to file a status report on the work done by it by December 13.
The state informed the court that there are a total of 74 licence holders, of which 19 are held by the legal heirs of deceased owners.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Animals and Birds Charitable Trust. In November last year, the trust had alleged cruelty to animals by using them for giving joyrides to people.
The charitable trust conducts feeding programmes for horses and ponies in south Mumbai.