The Hyderabad High Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the failure of the Andhra Pradesh authorities to prevent cockfights during Sankranti celebrations this month despite its orders.
The court sought to know from the Chief Secretary and the DGP as to why they had failed to prevent cockfights despite clear court orders, adding that it wanted the names of politicians who participated in the bloodsport.
A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan on Monday heard a public interest litigation in the matter.
In response to orders issued last week, Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar appeared in court. Director General of Police M. Malakondaiah had sought exemption from personal appearance.
The court asked the officials to submit details of cockfights held in East Godavari and West Godavari districts. The bench directed for information on who all organised the cockfights at over 800 places in the two districts, number of cases registered and details of the accused.
The court accepted the plea of the Chief Secretary and police for more time to provide the details, and adjourned the hearing by four weeks.
The court once again voiced unhappiness over certain public representatives organising cockfights despite court ban orders.
Earlier, the court had asked the Chief Secretary and the DGP whether they were feeling helpless in implementing its orders.
The PIL has been filed by one K. Ramchandra Raju of West Godavari district, who wanted the court to stop betting and several vices that have crept into villages in the name of culture and cockfights.
The High Court this month asked the state government to prevent cockfights. The Supreme Court had also dismissed the plea against the ban.
However, the cockfights were conducted at several places in coastal Andhra with impunity during Sankranti, the harvest festival celebrated from January 13 to 15.
Every year, crores of rupees change hands as cockfights are organised on a massive scale during week-long Sankranti holidays. Politicians of all hues, businessmen, and celebrities also participate in such cockfights.
Animal rights activists say the authorities have always failed to implement court orders on the matter.
They point out that as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act, 1974, cockfights are illegal.