Kerala High Court on Monday allowed a cat owner to go out to buy food for his pets amid the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
On the plea of a cat owner, the Kerala High Court asked state government to allow the petitioner to travel to purchase "Meo-Persian biscuits for his 3 cats." The petitioner had alleged that he was denied a vehicle pass to travel for the same.
A bench comprising Justices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Shaji P Chaly, during the hearing conducted through video conferencing, noted that animal food and fodder are covered under essential items.
Justice P Chaly in his concurring opinion said "the choice of the petitioner not to cook non-vegetarian food is a well protected facet under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and he has no choice than to procure food from outside".
Kerala High Court said "we might observe, in a lighter vein, that while we are happy to have come to the aid of the felines in this case, we are also certain that our directions will help avert a “CATastrophe” in the petitioner’s home".
The petitioner, N Prakash, is the owner of three cats and had approached the court after he was aggrieved by the police's refusal to issue him vehicle pass for purchasing cat food.
Allowing the petition, the court said that the petitioner will be able to go on the basis of a self-declaration, along with the court order. The court said that it will pass a general order to cover such situations.
During the hearing, the bench asked the petitioner whether the cat will not eat any other food, to which the petitioner responded saying the cats are fed a particular biscuit.
Prakash said that since he is a vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is not cooked in his house, one packet of 7 kg biscuits is sufficient for the cats for three weeks. He said that he applied for a vehicle pass to travel after the pet food stock was exhausted.