Source : Meet Asher, HAWO

BREAKING – Historic judgement by Kerala HC recognises pet ownership as a facet of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, thereby making it a fundamental right to have companion animals/pets.

This will go a long way in fighting housing societies and other establishments that deprive members/tenants from keeping pets by illegally banning pets in societies/housing complexes. This judgment of the Hon’ble Kerala HC makes it illegal for housing societies to ban pets.

(This judgement can be used and is applicable across the country. Decision of any High Court is binding on all subordinate authorities and Tribunals through out India untill contrary view is taken by respective parent HC – CIT vs. Godavari Saraf, Bom HC)

While allowing a person to travel to purchase pet food for his three cats amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the High Court of Kerala observed that choice to rear pets was traceable to fundamental right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

This significant observation was made by Justice Shaji P Chaly, in his separate but concurring judgment in the case filed by Shri N Prakash seeking vehicle pass for buying a particular brand of cat food for his pets.

“So much so, a citizen’s choice to rear pets is traceable to his fundamental right to privacy as recognised by the Apex Court in Puttaswamy’s case, which in turn is a facet of his right under Article 21″.

The bench also took note of the fact that “animal feed and fodder” are recognized as essential items, for which movement is permitted during the lockdown period.