Thursday, February 2, 2017

Madras high court rejects PIL to ban PETA

The Madras high court on Thursday trashed a public interest litigation (PIL) for banning People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and said the PIL was a "misadventure" filed for "publicity sake" given the current social context on account of the role of PETA vis a vis the jallikattu issue .

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar, rejecting the PIL filed by Dinesh on Wednesday, said: "We repeatedly posed a query to the counsel for the petitioner, as to under what law does this court issue a mandamus to ban an organisation. It would be the prerogative of the executive, if any law is violated, to take action against any such organisation."

The PIL said the PETA website had been indulging "sexist advertisements" and that it had hosted a "XXX porn site as a marketing endeavor."

It said, "The endeavour of PETA is stated to be affecting children and women rights." It accused PETA of indulging in "unnecessary activities like filing frivolous PILs against the very same government which has allowed its operation in India."

The PIL said PETA had been acting contrary to the "sovereignty and integrity of India by filing vexatious PILs against the sovereign powers of India, acted against general public interest and created disharmony between communities."

The first bench rejected all these averments, and said: "We are troubled by the tenor of the petition which seeks to suggest that the entertaining of petitions filed by PETA amounts to violation of sovereignty and integrity of India, and because PETA sought to challenge statutory law made in India, it should be banned. In our view, this is contemptuous of the Supreme Court, as it is the prerogative of the court whether to entertain or not to entertain a petition."

Referring to the alleged pornographic content in the PETA website, the judges said: "On a perusal, we find nothing of this sort. There are photographs of women sparsely clad propagating non-use of fur and such other materials which affect the rights of animals. In any case, nothing compels the petitioner to necessarily visit the website of PETA and then claim that he is provoked by its content."

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