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HC refuses to lift ban on horse-drawn ‘Victorias’

The Bombay High Court refused to vacate its 2015 order which had banned the horse-drawn carriages ‘Victoria’ from plying in the city.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and A K Menon was hearing a review petition filed by owners of the Victoria horse carriages seeking the court to lift the ban on them.

In June 2015, the high court had directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to completely ban the horse-drawn carriages, popularly known as “Victoria,” declaring them as “illegal and violative of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.”

The court had then also asked the state government to frame a comprehensive policy to rehabilitate the carriage owners and their drivers, affected by the ban and also the horses.

The direction was given on a public interest lawsuit filed by a city NGO ‘Animals and Birds Charitable Trust’ alleging cruelty to the horses in drawing ‘Victorias’ for joyrides.

The horse carriage owners, in their plea for resumption of ‘Victoria’s’ service in the metropolis, said the state government was yet to frame a policy for their rehabilitation and they should be allowed to ply the carriages.

The high court, however, said there was no merit in the plea and refused to lift the ban.

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