The Bombay High court yesterday directed that all horse-drawn carriages that have not secured necessary licences and fitness certificates will no longer be allowed to ply in the city.
If a ‘Victoria’ owner is found plying a carriage without the requisite permissions, concerned authorities or the police will impound their horses and carriages, and keep them at the police station until the necessary permissions are acquired.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit S Shah and AV Mohta also directed that carriage owners should clearly display their licences.
The verdict was delivered during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the Animals and Birds Charitable Trust. The petition had alleged cruel treatment of the horses that pull these carriages.
All owners who have applied for licences but whose applications have been rejected are also barred from plying. If the owners do not reclaim impounded horses, the BSPCA can take care of them.
At the hearing, the state government told the court that of the 80 applications received by the authorities for renewal of licences only 29 licences were renewed. The remaining applications were rejected for various reasons. The state also said that of the 130 licence holders it is yet to receive applications for renewal of licences by any legal heirs of deceased carriage owners.
There are a total of 130 licence holders of which 74 hold licences, while 19 are those held by legal heirs of deceased owners.