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Cow in court!

Judge orders owner to get licence or release calf outside Delhi after MCD fails to produce its mother. The latter had taken the cow to a shelter on July 2

The petitioner was seeking the reunion of a three-month old calf with her mother, who was picked up by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials from Shahdara. But on Monday, a city court dismissed the application moved by Ved Prakash, owner of the cow. The court asked the petitioner to either get a licence for the calf or to move it out of Delhi.


Mum's the word: Ved Prakash (right), owner of the unfortunate calf
whose mother was picked up by MCD in July. PIC/Imtiyaz Khan


Citing an order passed by Justice Sanjeev Khanna of Delhi High court last year, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Tees Hazari court Vinod Yadav said, "In October, the high court had said that stray cattle cannot be released and be put under different cow shelters run by Delhi government. Therefore, the mother of the calf who was taken away on July 2 cannot be released."

Kiran Pal Singh, lawyer of the petitioner said, "There were no licences issued either for the cow or the calf. However the mother was tied in an area which falls out of the jurisdiction of the MCD. Even then they picked her up and moved her to a cow shelter at Bawana in outer Delhi. Now that the application has been dismissed, we will be appealing in Delhi High Court."

It has been almost two months to this incident and the owner is in a fix now. He alleges that MCD officials were demanding money from him for the release of the cow. However, when denied, they refused to release her. "Earlier we had gone to the police station and filed a police complaint against MCD officials. Noticing no development in the case, we moved to court and filed an application. There were some positive developments in the first hearing, but ultimately the application was dismissed," said 60-year-old Prakash.

Prakash also feels that the calf might die without its mother if they are not united soon. Also, it is still too young and has to be fed forcefully. "We were asked to bring it to court twice to identify her mother. But on both occasions, MCD officials failed to produce the cow in the court."

Earlier, the court had reprimanded the attitude of MCD officials for failing to produce the cow in court. Officials at MCD Shahadara North Zone had said that their work is to catch stray cattle, after which their role is over. The court had also asked the owner to go to the cow shelter and identify the mother, but the animal husbandry department did not allow him to enter.

Speaking to MiD DAY, DP Ture, Deputy Commissioner, MCD Shahdara North Zone, said, "This was not a unique case. We often come across issues like this. The matter is very simple. One can't keep cattle in Delhi residential colonies. It was clear violation of rules and we were forced to do the needful."

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