Rajasthan High court to govt; frame rules for management of cow shelters


Jaipur: The Rajasthan High court on Wednesday suggested the government to consider amending the Gaushala Act 1960 by incorporating the provisions of grant in aid to gaushalas for their better management. The single bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Sharma also gave some more suggestions to the government to consider during the hearing on Hingonia Gaushala on Wednesday for efficient management of the cow shelters in the state.

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The court pointed out that the government had introduced a cess through stamp and registration department on registration of properties to provide grant to the gaushalas but it has not made any rules to regulate the use of the cess collected.

It is essential that the expenditure incurred on the cess be put before the assembly for ensuring transparency and accountability, the court observed. The court directed the government to ensure that the gaushalas functioning in the state are registered under Gaushala Act 1960 and also identify the ownership of land of cow shelters fully or partially under their possession.

The court directed the government to make provisions for proper upkeep of the income of the gaushalas like donations from corporates and trusts, sale of milk, ghee, urine, cow dung, compost etc. "It is also essential that the audit of the income and expenditure of gaushalas be conducted by chartered accountants and publication of the annual reports be made mandatory. 

There is also a need for classification of gaushalas and the grant in aid given to them as per their classification." The court emphasised the need for centralised management system supported by IT system in Jaipur. It should have all the details of each and every cow at a gaushala, and every cow should bear a tag containing the details like its age, health reports and other essential information.

The court also directed the Jaipur Development Authority to expedite the process of registration of 382 bighas of pasture land used at the Hingonia Gaushala in the name of Jaipur Municipal Corporation. If the land is not transferred to JMC and the MOU is not finalised before next hearing on September 21, then the principal secretary, local bodies, and JDA commissioner need to be present in court for next hearing, the court ordered.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation on Wednesday presented a copy of the draft of MoU to be entered in with the mayor and JMC commissioner in the court. Additional advocate general GS Gill said he would inform the court on next hearing about the 'finality of the MoU agreed upon'.

The court had sought information from the government on the cows given away to other gaushalas and to tribals in Udaipur. Gill said a report has been received from the Udaipur divisional commissioner, who is also the tribal development commissioner, which states that the animals distributed to tribal are in a good shape and details regarding the cows given to other gaushalas are being ascertained.

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