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Bombay HC stays sale of 20K cows being bred in military farms in India

A Pune-based petitioner who worked at a military farm, told a division bench of Bombay HC that while more than Rs 1000 crore had been spent since 1982 to develop the Frieswal cows, these are being sold for a mere Rs1,000, compared to their price of Rs 40,000.

mumbai Updated: Oct 12, 2018 16:06 IST
K A Y Dodhiya
K A Y Dodhiya
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
bombay HC,military farms in india,frieswal cows
In Augutst 2017, military farms workers in Pune protested the defence ministry’s decision to shut the farms. f(HT File Photo )

The Bombay high court (HC) has stayed the sale of 20,000 cows being bred in military farms, from where the troops get milk and milk products, asking the Centre to disclose its policy on it.

The British set up the first military farm in Allahabad in 1889. Currently, India has 39 military farms, including three in Maharashtra (Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik). The military undertook research in 1982 to get a cow that would yield a good quantity of milk in any climate or region.

They crossed the Friesian cow from Holland and the Sahiwal cow from India to breed the Frieswal cow that yields around 4,000 litres of milk annually, compared to 2,000 litres from regular cows.

Dilip Baban Kate, a Pune-based petitioner who worked at a military farm, told a division bench of justices BR Gavai and MS Karnik that while more than Rs 1000 crore had been spent since 1982 to develop the Frieswal cows, these are being sold for a mere Rs1,000, compared to their price of Rs 40,000. The petition said as the Centre decided to shut down the military farms without giving any valid reasons, it should submit details of the decision to court.

Petitioner’s advocate Shekhar Jagtap said that his client found out about the low sale price, even though the Goa government and a couple of cooperatives had offered to buy each cow for Rs 35,000 - Rs 38,000, through an RTI query. This, he said, would result in a national loss.

The petitioner told the court that although the union and military farm authorities had been served copies of the petition, they had not turned up for the hearing.

The court accepted the submissions of the petitioner and passed an ex-parte (relating to only side) stay. The HC has directed the ministry of defence to respond within two weeks.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 16:05 IST