AMARAVATI:The Andhra High Court directed the State government to take steps to prevent cockfights and betting during the Sankranti celebrations across the State, on Thursday.
In response to PIL filed by Sk Saleem from Pedapudi in East Godavari urging the court to direct the officials for preventing cockfights, a division bench comprising Justice Joy Malya Bagchi and Justice A Venkata Sesha Sai emphasised that the court directions issued on in 2016 with regard to cockfights should be implemented.
Stating that it will take up the PIL along with a contempt petition filed stating that officials failed to implement the court orders with regard to cockfights issued earlier, the bench adjourned the hearing after eight weeks.
The bench adjourned the matter for hearing after 8 weeks.
The Supreme Court in 2018 also ordered for prohibition of cockfights during Sankranti and dismissed a petition filed by Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, challenging the high court order.
Cockfights on massive scale are organised in various parts of coastal Andhra where crores of rupees are spent on these cockfights during Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh. Politicians leaders, businessmen and celebrities also participate in the traditional cockfights organised during the week-long holidays.
Animal rights activists, however, point out that as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act, 1974, cockfights are illegal.
The petitioner urged the High Court to ensure effective implementation of the prohibition of cockfights, in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh High Court order in 2016, which explicitly issued directives to the Government of AP to ensure cockfights are prevented.