Sri Lanka Court of Appeal empowers police to prevent illegal slaughter of animals at Munneswaram Kovil
Posted on August 30th, 2013

By Chitra Weerarathne Courtesy: Island 

The Court of Appeal yesterday empowered the IGP and the police authorities in Chilaw to prevent the slaughter of animals at the Munneswaram Kovil in Chilaw, if those administering the kovil violated the Butchers’ and Cruelty to Animals’ Ordinances.

The Court issued a Writ of Mandamus (mandatory order) directing the IGP, the DIG of Police, Puttalam District, Senior Superintendant of Police and the OIC of the Chilaw Police Station, to take all necessary action, as permitted by law, to prevent the slaughter of animals, defined in the Butchers’ Ordinance, at Sri Badra Kali Amman Kovil, Munneswaram, Chilaw if M. Kanegaratnam, K. Shivapakyasuntheram and Mahendra Samy, at the Kovil, did not possess a licence under the Butchers’ Ordinance and/or if they violated the provisions of the Butchers’ Ordinance.

The Court also gave a similar direction to the police to prevent the slaughter of animals, defined in the Cruelty to  Animals Act, at the same Kovil, if they violated the Provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act.

The judgment was by Justice Sisira J. De Abrew with Justice Deepali Wijesundera and Justice Sunil Rajapakshe agreeing.

Delivering the order, the Court of Appeal explained that fowls had been killed in the years 2009 and 2010, at the Sri Badrakali Kovil, Munneswaram Chilaw, in an unnecessary  manner, and that Kalimuttu Shivapakyasuntheram and Mahendra Samy, of the aforesaid kovil, had violated Section 4 of the Cruelty to Animals Act. “There is no guarantee by the aforesaid two respondents and M. Kanagaratnam, of the same kovil, that they would not violate the same provisions at the next festival season.

“If they violate Section 4 or any other provision of the Cruelty to the Animals Act, the police will be entitled to prevent the violation,” the Court said.

The Court also held that the person who killed animals and/or the person who turned the carcasses of the animals into meat, in the kovil premises, carried on the trade of a butcher.

The judgement explained that the respondents, Kalimutthu and Mahendra Samy, admitted that animal sacrifices took place within the Kovil premises. “This showed that the animals were killed in the kovil premises. The aforesaid two respondents and respondent Kanagaratnam had been offering alms, by using animal flesh. These respondents had carried on the trade of a butcher.

“They should obtain a licence under the provisions of the Butchers’ Ordinance, if they continue to kill animals in the kovil premises, and if they continue to turn carcasses of animals into meat,” the Court said.

The court added that the permitting of the slaughter of animals on the occasion of any religious festival or other special event was in the hands of a proper authority, and not in the hands of the priest of the Kovil or a person in charge of the festival. Thus, the priest of the Kovil or person in charge of a festival cannot, after killing the animals, took up the defence that he did it on the occasion of any religious festival if the proper authority, had not published a notice under Section 17(1) if the Butchers’ Ordinance.

“Section 17 of the Butchers’ Ordinance was not enacted. A licensed butcher can kill animals, even on Vesak or Poson Poya Day or any Poya Day and can take up the position that he does so by virtue of the licence granted to him. Such a situation can be avoided by taking steps under Section 17(1),” Court said.

Among petitioners who had complained of cruelty to animals at the kovil premises were the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation, Embilipitiya, Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya of Rajagiriya, Olcott Gunesekera, the President of Dharamavijaya Foundation, Venerable Bandirippuwe Vineetha Thero, Irangani de Silva, Chairperson of Animal Welfare Trust and several others.

C. R. de Silva, Raja Dep, Suren de Silva and Chinthaka Rankothge appeared for the petitioners.

Deputy Solicitor General Parinda Ranasinghe, appeared for the IGP.

President’s Counsel A. R. Surendran appeared with M. Jude Dinesh and K. Kadeepa; for K. Shivapakyasuntheram of the Kovil.


One Response to “Sri Lanka Court of Appeal empowers police to prevent illegal slaughter of animals at Munneswaram Kovil”

  1. Senevirath Says:

    what gods live in slaughter houses . do they eat flesh and drink blood?

    it is better to check again ……….DOGS OR GODS

  2. Charles Says:

    This should equally apply to Muslims who kill animal in their homes for the Muslim Eid Festval.

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