The Kerala Cattle Trespass Act, 1961.

THE KERALA CATTLE TRESPASS ACT, 1961

ACT 26 OF 1961

(Received the assent of the Governor on 12th July 1961) (For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Kerala Gazette dated 23-8-1960)

(Published in Gazette Extraordinary No. 82 dated 15th July 1961) (THE ACT HAS BEEN AMENDED BY ACTS 15OF1962 AND 130F1968)

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to trespass by cattle in the Slate of Kerala.

Preamble - WHEREAS it is necessary to consolidate and amend the law relating to trespass by cattle on lands and causing damage to crops and other produce thereon, in the State of Kerala;

BE it enacted in the Twelfth year of the Republic of India as follows:

CHAPTER I

1. Short title, extent and commencement - (1) This Act may be called the Kerala Cattle Trespass Act, 1961.

(2) (a) It extends to the whole of the State of Kerala.

(b)The Government may, by notification in the Gazette, exclude any area from the operation of this Act from such date as may be specified therein.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint

2. Definitions - In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -

(1) "Cattle" means cows, oxen and bulls and includes elephants, camels, buffaloes, horses, mares, geldings, ponies, colts, fillies, mules, asses, pigs, rams, ewes, sheep, lambs, goats, kids and fowels and such other kinds of animals as the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, specify;

**[(2)....................... ]

*** [(3) "local authority" means a Village Panchayat constituted under S.4 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, (13 of 1994) or a municipality constituted under S.4

of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 (20 of 1994).]

*Came into force on 1st November 1962. See Kerala Gazette of 9th October 1962.

** Clause(2)ofS.2omitted by Kerala Decentralisatin of Powers Act, 2000,16 of 2000 Published in Kerala Gazette Extra No. 869 dated 12.5.2000.

***Clause (3) of S.2 Substituted by Ibid.

CHAPTER II

Pounds and Pound-keepers

* [3. Establishment of Pounds. (1) Pounds may be established at such places in each Village Panchayat or municipality if the local authority so decides.

(2) Any pound established in one local authority may be used by the adjacent local authority subject to the conditions as may be mutually agreed by the local authorities concerned.]

4. Control of pounds and rates of charge for feeding impounded cattle – The pounds shall be under the control of the local authority and that authority shall fix, and may, from time to time, alter the rates of charge for feeding and watering impounded cattle.

5. Appointment of pound-keepers - (1) Every pound shall be in the charge of a pound-keeper appointed by the local authority concerned.

(2) Every pound-keeper shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of S. 21 of the Indian Penal Code.

(3) The pay and allowances, discipline and conduct and other conditions of service of a pound-keeper appointed by a local authority under sub-section (1) shall** [be as prescribed, -]

***[(a) ……………………….]

***[(b)………………………..]

***[(4)……………………..…]

Duties of Pound-keepers

6. To keep registers and furnish returns -Every pound-keeper shall keep such registers, and furnish such returns as the Government may, from time to time, direct.

7. To register seizures - When cattle are brought to a pound, the pound-keeper shall enter in his register -

(a) the number and description of the cattle;

NOTES

S.4 -Approval of State Govt. not necessary for abolition of cattle pound by Collector-1960KLT, 1231.

* Section 3 Substituted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, Act 16of 2000 published in Kerala Gazette Extra No. 869 dated 12-5-2000.

** Inserted by Ibid.

*** Clauses (a) & (b) of sub-section (3) and sub-section 4 omitted by Ibid.

(b) the day and hour on and at which they were so brought;

(c) the name and residence of the seizer; and

(d) the name and the residence of the owner, if known.

The seizer shall affix his signature in the register. The pound-keeper shall give the seizer or his agent a copy of the entries aforesaid.

8. To take charge of and feed cattle - The pound-keeper shall take charge of, feed and water the cattle, until they are disposed of as hereinafter directed.

CHAPTER III

Impounding Cattle

9. Cattle damaging land may be seized and police to aid such seizures - (1) The cultivator or occupier of any land, or any person who has acquired a right for the cultivation of the crop or produce on any land,

or the vendee or mortgagee of such crop or produce or any part thereof may seize, or cause to be seized, any cattle trespassing on such land, and doing damage thereto or to any crop or produce thereon, and send them or cause them to be sent within *[twelve I hours] to the pound established for the area in which the land is situate.

(2) All officers of Police shall, when required, aid in preventing-

(a) resistance to such seizures, and

(b) rescues from persons making such seizures.

10. Cattle damaging public roads, canals and embankments - Persons in charge of public roads, pleasure grounds, plantations wherein common grazing grounds are available, canals, drainage works, tanks, embankments, and the like and officers of Police, officers employed by local authorities within their respective jurisdictions **[………………..……....] may seize, or cause to be seized, any cattle doing damage to such roads, grounds, plantations, canals, drainage works, tanks, embankments and the like or the sides or slopes of such roads, canals, drainage works, tanks or embankments or found straying thereon, and shall send them or cause them to be sent within twenty-four hours, to the nearest pound.

11. Fines for cattle impounded - (1) For every head of cattle impounded as aforesaid the pound-keeper shall levy a fine in accordance with the scale for the time being prescribed by the ***[local authority] in this behalf by notification in the Gazette.

 *Words “Twelve Hours" substituted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, 2000,16 of 2000 published in Kerala Gazette Extra No.869 dated 12.5.2000.

**Words "and such other officers as the Director may empower in this behalf omitted by Ibid.

*** Words "local authority" Substituted for "Director" by Ibid.

 * [Different scales may be prescribed for different local areas or for different localities within the local area and for different kinds of cattle].

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), when it appears to the **[local authority] that in any local area cattle are habitually allowed to trespass on land and damage crops or other produce thereon, he may, by notification in the Gazette, direct that for every head of cattle of any kind specified therein which may be seized within such local area and impounded as aforesaid, such amount of fine as may be specified by him in the said notification, not exceeding double the fine prescribed under sub-section (1), shall be levied.

(3) All fines levied ***[under this section, or section iia] shall be credited to the fund of the local authority ****[ ].

(4) A list of the fines and of the rates of charge for feeding and wattering cattle shall be exhibited in a conspicuous place on, or near to every pound.

*** [11A. Special Provisions for cattle straying in aerodromes:-Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-s. (1) of S. ii when it appears to the **[local authority] that in any aerodrome cattle are habitually allowed to trespass and cause nuisance in such aerodrome he may, by notification in the Gazette, direct that for every head of cattle of any kind specified therein which may be seized within such aerodrome and impounded as aforesaid, such amount of fine as may be specified by **[it] in the said notification, not exceeding four times the fine prescribed under sub-s. (1) of S, ii, shall be levied.

Explanation: - For the purposes of this section, "aerodrome" shall have the same meaning assigned to it under the Aircraft Act, 1934 (Central Act 22 of 1934)"].

CHAPTER IV

Delivery or Sale of Cattle

12. Procedure when owner claims the cattle and pays fines and charges -(a) If the owner of the impounded cattle or his agent appears and claims the cattle, the pound-keeper shall deliver them to him on payment of the fines and charges incurred in respect of such cattle.

(b) The owner or his agent, on taking back the cattle shall sign a receipt for [hem in the register kept by the pound-keeper.

* Substituted by Act 18 of 1975.

** Inserted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, Act 16 of 2000 published in Kerala Gazette Extra No. 869 dated 12-5-2000.

*** Inserted by Act 18 of 1975.

**** Omitted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, 2000,16 of 2000 Published in Kerala Gazette Extra No. 869dated 12.5.2000.

13. Procedure if cattle be not claimed within a week - (I) If the cattle be not claimed within seven days from the date of their being impounded, the pound-keeper shall report the fact to the local authority concerned * [ ].

(2) The local authority * [..................... ] shall thereupon affix in a conspicuous part of its or his office a notice stating -

(a) the number and description of the cattle,

(b) the place where they were seized,

(c) the place where they are impounded :

and shall cause proclamation of the same to be made * [..................... ] in the

 village and in the market place nearest to the place of seizure.

(4) If the cattle be not claimed within seven days from the date of the notice, they shall be sold by public auction by the local authority * [……….] at such place and time and subject to such conditions as the** [local authority] by general or special order, from time to time, directs ;

*** [………………………………….]

14. Delivery to owner disputing legality of seizure but making deposit – (1) If the owner or his agent appears and refuses to pay the said fines and expenses, on the ground that the seizure was illegal and that the owner is about to make acomplaint under S. 19, then, upon deposit of the fines and charges incurred in respect of the cattle, the cattle shall be delivered to him.

15. Procedure when owner refuses or omits to pay the fines and expenses -(1) If the owner or his agent appears and refuses or omits to pay or in the case mentioned in S. 14 to deposit the said fines and expenses, the cattle, or as many of them as may be necessary, shall be sold by public auction by the local authority *[…………………] at such place and time, and subject to such conditions as are referred to in S. 13.

(2) The fines leviable and expenses of feeding and watering together with the expenses of sale, if any, shall be deducted from the proceeds of the sale.

(3) The remaining cattle, and the balance of the proceeds of sale, if any, shall be delivered to the owner or his agent, together with an account showing -

(a) the number of cattle seized,

(b) the time during which they have been impounded,

(c) the amount of fines and charges incurred,

* Omitted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, 2000,16of 2000 Published in Kerala Gazette Extra No.869 dated 12.5.2000.

** Substituted by Ibid.

***Proviso omitted by Ibid.

(d) the number of cattle sold,

(e) the proceeds of sale, and

(f) the manner in which those proceeds have been disposed of.

(4) The owner or his agent shall give a receipt for the cattle delivered to him and for the balance of the proceeds of sale, if any, paid to him according to such account.

(5) If the owner or his agent refuses to receive the remaining cattle and the surplus proceeds of sale delivered to him the cattle and the proceeds of sale shall be deemed to be unclaimed and disposed of according to the provisions of this Act.

16. Disposal of fines, expenses and surplus proceeds of sale - (1) The officer by whom the sale was made shall send to the local authority the fines so deducted.

(2) The charges for feeding and watering deducted under S. 15 shall be paid over to the pound-keeper, who shall also retain and appropriate all sums received by him on account of such charges under S. 12.

(3) The surplus unclaimed proceeds of the sale of cattle shall be sent to the local authority, who shall hold them in deposit, and if no claim thereto be preferred within three months and established, shall dispose of them as hereinafter provided.

17. Application of fines and unclaimed proceeds of sale - (1) All sums

received on account of fines and the unclaimed proceeds of the sale of cattle shall be credited to the fund of the local authority *[ ].

(2) The salaries allowed to pound-keepers and the expenses incurred for the construction and maintenance of pounds or for any other purpose connected with the carrying out of the provisions of this Act shall be paid by the local authority.

18. Officers and Pound keepers not to purchase cattle at sales under this Act - (1) No Police Officer, or other officer or pound-keeper appointed under the provisions herein contained and no member of the local authority under whose control the pound is, shall directly, or indirectly, purchase any cattle at a sale under this Act.

(2) No pound-keeper shall release or deliver any impounded cattle otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, unless such release or delivery is ordered by *[............................. ] the local authority *[ ].

CHAPTER V

Complaints of Illegal Seizure and Detention

19. Power to make complaints - Any person whose cattle have been seized

under this Act, or having been so seized, having been detained in contravention of this Act may, at any time within ten days from the date of seizure, make a complaint to *[the local authority]

*Omitted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, 2000,16 of 2000 Published in Kerala Gazette Extra No. 869 dated 12.5.2000.

Act, may, at any time within ten days from the date of seizure, make a complaint to *[the local authority].

20. Procedure on complaints - (1) The complaint shall be made by the complainant in person or by an agent personally acquainted with the circumstances. It may be either in writing or verbal. If it be verbal, the substance of it shall be taken down in writing by * [Secretary of the local authority].

(2) If *[Secretary of the local authority] on examining the complainant or his agent, sees reason to believe the complaint to be well-founded, he shall summon the person complained against and make an enquiry into the case.

21. Compensation for illegal seizure or detention and release of cattle - (1)

If the seizure or detention be adjudged illegal *[Secretary of the local authority] shall award to the complainant for the loss caused by the seizure or detention, reasonable compensation not exceeding one hundred rupees, to be paid by the person who made the seizure or detained the cattle, together with all fines paid and expenses incurred by the complainant in procuring the release of the cattle.

(2) If the cattle have not been released, the Magistrate shall, besides awarding such compensation, order their release and direct that the fines and expenses leviable under this Act shall be paid by the person who made the seizure or detained the cattle.

22. Recovery of compensation - The compensation, fines and expenses mentioned

inS.21 may be recovered *[as if it were arrears of public revenue due on land].

CHAPTER VI

Penalties

23. Penalty for forcibly opposing the seizure of cattle or rescuing the same- Whoever forcibly opposes the seizure of cattle liable to be seized under this Act, and whoever rescues the same after seizure, either from a pound or from any person taking or about to take them to a pound, such person being near at hand and acting under the powers conferred by this Act, shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or with fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, or with both.

24. Penalty for damage caused to land or crops or public roads by cattle -

Any owner, or keeper, or attendant of cattle, who causes or suffers cattle to stray about without a keeper or who, through neglect or otherwise, damages or causes or permits to be damaged any land, or any crop or produce of land or any public road, by allowing inch cattle to trespass thereon, shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not less than twenty-five rupees, but not exceeding two hundred and fifty rupees

or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both.

_____________________________________________________________________

* Substituted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, 2000, 16 of 2000 Published in Kerala

Gazelle Extra No. 869 dated 12.5.2000.

25. Recovery of penalty for mischief committed by causing cattle to trespass - Any fine imposed under S. 24 or for the offence of mischief by causing cattle to trespass on any land may be recovered by sale or all or any of the cattle by which the trespass was committed, whether they were seized in the act of trespassing or not, and whether they are the property of the person convicted of the offence, or were only in his charge when the trespass was committed.

26. Powers of Police to investigate offences under S. 24 – Notwithstanding the provisions contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, any Police Officer may investigate without the order of a Magistrate into an offence under S. 24 as if it were a cognizable case, but he shall not arrest without warrant from a Magistrate any person accused of an offence under S. 24.

27. Penalty on pound-keeper failing to perform duties - Any pound-keeper releasing or purchasing or delivering cattle contrary to the provisions of S. 18, or omitting to provide any impounded cattle with sufficient food and water, or failing to perform any of the other duties imposed upon him by this Act, shall, over and above any other penalty to which he may be liable, be punished, on conviction before a Magistrate, with fine not exceeding fifty rupees. Such fines may be recovered by deductions from the pound-keepers' salary.

28. Application of fines recovered under Ss.24, 25 and 27 - All fines recovered under Ss. 24, 25 and 27 may be appropriated, in whole or in part, as compensation for loss or damage proved to the satisfaction of the convicting Magistrate.

CHAPTER VII

Suits for Compensation

29. Saving of right to sue for compensation - Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit any person whose crops or other produce of land have been damaged by trespass of cattle from suing for compensation in any competent civil court.

30. Set-off - Any compensation paid under this Act, by order of a convicting

Magistrate, to a person whose crops or other produce of land have been damaged by trespass by cattle, shall be set-off and deducted from any sum due to that person as compensation in any civil suit referred to in S. 29.

CHAPTER VIII

Miscellaneous

*[31...................................................... 3

32. Power to make rules - (1) The Government may make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

*Section 31 omitted by Kerala Decentralisation of Powers Act, 2000, 16 of 2000 Published in Kerala Gazette Extra No, 869 dated 12.5.2000.

(2) All rules made under this section shall be laid before the Legislative Assembly for a period of not less than fourteen days as soon as possible after they are made and shall be subjected to such modifications as the Legislative Assembly may make during the session in which they are so laid or the session immediately following.

33. Repeal and Savings – The Travencore –Cochin Cattle Trespass Act, 1125 (Act XII of 112) and the Cattle Trespass Act,1871 (Central Act 1871) in this application to the Malabar district referred to in sub-section(2) of S.5of the States Recognisation Act , 1956, are hereby repeated; but notwithstanding such repeal all pounds established under the aforesaid Acts shall be deemed to be pounds established under this Act.