The Bombay high court on Friday directed the joint commissioner of police (Traffic) to give a hearing to petitioners Animal and Birds Charitable Trust, horse and stable owners and other interveners over the issue of regulating timings for Victoria horse owners. This development comes in the wake of a notification issued by the traffic police to regulate smooth traffic movement during the ongoing road repair work in the city.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha have directed the traffic chief to hear the representations within ten days and pass an order on it thereafter. The direction came while hearing an application filed by Animals and Birds Charitable Trust, an NGO, seeking proper implementation of regulations and timings allotted for plying of Victorias in the city.
Advocate Ambika Hiranandani argued: "City roads have become narrow because of the road repair work; for example, Marine Drive. Heavy vehicles, cars and Victorias ply on these roads at the same time. In case of an accident, persons in a car would be protected but the horses would get injured."
The petitioners prayed that the police should ensure that Victorias follow the specified timings given to them to ply.
However, appearing for the traffic police, advocate Niranjan Pandit argued: "The direction of the court to consider the representation of the parties to regulate timings was contrary to the policy decision of the police to not renew licenses of the horse owners."
The court, however, clarified that it was not passing any order and if the traffic police had taken a policy decision, then it would act as per law.
The public interest litigation filed by the petitioners, which alleges cruelty to horses by using them for joyrides for people, is pending for a final hearing in the high court.