To prevent abuse against animals, the government has prepared a draft to amend the 60-years-old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, proposing a penalty of 75,000 rupees or three times the cost of the animal or jail up to 5 years.
If an act of an individual or an organisation leads to an animal's death, then both Rs 75,000 and jail up to five years will be imposed on the individual or organisation, reported Times of India.
Three categories of offences have been proposed in the draft which includes minor injury, major injury leading to permanent disability, and death of an animal due to cruelty.
Different penalties have been prescribed in the draft proposed by the government that ranges from Rs 750 to 75,000 and jail term up to five years for different crimes.
For now, according to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, violation of the rules are non-cognizable offenses in legal terms which means if any person contravenes, or abets the contravention of, any rules made under this section, they shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or both.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha Member, while referring to a case in Kerala where an elephant was suspected to have consumed a fruit-filled with firecrackers, raised the question about need for amending current act.
Replying to the question, Minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying Giriraj Singh in a written response said, "The need for amending the PCA, 1960, by introducing more stringent penalties has been recognised by the government. The draft amendment worked out includes increasing monetary penalties and punishment provisions."
The government, in a response to another question told the parliament that 316 cases relating to cruelty to animals were pending in various courts across the country. 64 such cases were pending in Supreme Court while 38 were pending in Delhi High Court.