No more horse-driven carriages in Mumbai: HC

Terming illegal the use of horse carriages for joyrides, the Bombay High Court recently banned them in Mumbai and directed the authorities to phase them out in one year.

What else has the Court said?

  • The Court also said that no wheeled vehicle hired for joyrides could be used for public conveyance. Therefore, no licences can be granted for the victorias or carriages drawn or propelled by the horses in Mumbai.
  • The court further said that the carriages did not fall in the category of “public conveyance” under the Bombay Public Conveyance Act 1920, and were only meant for joyrides.

What about those families whose livelihoods were dependent on these carriages?

  • The court has directed the State to identify the number of families whose livelihoods were connected with the running of horse carriages and come up with schemes for their rehabilitation by December 2015. The government would also have to formulate schemes for rehabilitation of the animals. There are approximately 700 families operating the business.
  • After the expiry of the one-year period, the Mumbai Corporation would have to close down all the stables meant for horses and ponies and take action under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The decision came based on the petition which said the horses were forced to overwork.

Sources: The Hindu.

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