The Gujarat High Court on Monday ruled that cattle cannot be allowed to stray on the streets in the cities and that too for the purpose of grazing.
A bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh J Shastri was hearing a plea seeking directions to the State Government to immediately provide Gauchar land to the Maldhari community within limits of Vadodara Municipal Corporation. The plea also demanded minimum penalty from the community till the Gauchar land is provided.
A petitioner, a contractor belonging to the Maldhari community has contended that his community had lost their land to accommodate and grass the cattle due to the expansion of the city.
The cattle land was being kept in nearby lands for grazing and feeding purposes and got said purpose Gauchar land was reserved in rural areas. The plea further added that the state was under obligation to provide Gauchar land to the economically backward Maldhari community.
The court had directed the state to provide Gauchar lands to the cattle for grazing amongst other directions in the Sharda Sahakari Gruh Mandali Ltd. vs Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Mustak Hussain Mehndi Hussain vs State of Gujarat case.
The Court observed that the petitioner belongs to the Maldhari community which clearly means he has personal interest. Gauchar land is to be preserved for cattle grazing in the Gujarat Land Revenue Code at the village level, taluka level and district level and the state was not obligated to provide Gauchar lands in big cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara etc.
“If the persons who own the cattle in the cities, then they are required to ensure that the said cattle are kept in cattle shed or not allowed to stray in public streets, which would be causing public nuisance and many a times, road traffic accident or other mishaps would occur due to straying.There is a responsibility cast on the owners of the cattle to tither their cattle in the cattle shed and not to allow them to graze elsewhere like leaving them in the city on roads.In that view of the matter, prayer sought for by the petitioner in this petition for issuing direction to the respondents to provide Gauchar land in cities would impermissible and it stands rejected.”
The court however, allowed the members of the Maldhari community to pursue the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation.