The State should adopt a Standard Operating Procedure to not interrupt genuine trade of cattle within the country particularly from West Bengal to the North Eastern States of India. That was the Calcutta High Court’s view, expressed on Friday, as it disposed of a petition by a cattle and livestock trader.
Debjani Ghosal, Counsel for the petitioner, submitted that in course of transportation of such cattle to Meghalaya from West Bengal, various police stations on the way stopped the Petitioner’s truck and seized the cattle, and also arrested the personnel engaged in such transportation.
The counsel further submitted that Petitioner is a bona fide trader within the country in support of which documents have been filed, indicating that the Petitioner supplies cattle to the Government of Meghalaya.
Ayan Banerjee, counsel for the State, submitted that the State in principle cannot have any objection to the trade engaged in by the Petitioner to supply cattle to Meghalaya, but since the State of West Bengal has a border with the foreign country and in view of large incidents of cattle smuggling, the State police at various locations are required to be doubly vigilant.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha, while considering the Petition was of the view that the State should adopt a Standard Operating Procedure to not interrupt genuine trade of cattle within the country particularly from West Bengal to the North Eastern States of India.
“In that view of the matter, the Inspector General of Police, North Bengal being the respondent no. 3 herein in consultation with any other necessary authorities, shall prepare a Standard Operating Procedure for the purpose of strict compliance by any trader of cattle and live stock from West Bengal to other States and within the country,” the Court ruled.
The Court further ruled that let the Petition itself be treated as a representation of the Petitioner for the purpose of preparing a Standard Operating Procedure and the Petitioner shall supply any further documents and inputs for the same.
It is expected by the Court that Standard Operating Procedure would be finalized as expeditiously as possible preferably within a period of three months from the date of communication of this order.
“Pending establishment of the Standard Operating Procedure, the Inspector General of Police, North Bengal may at its discretion allow the Petitioner to transport his cattle to the State of Meghalaya subject to compliance of all necessary formalities”, the order reads.