Ensure no nuisance is created by stray dogs: HC directs CP
   Date :24-Nov-2022

HC directs CP 
 
 
Staff Reporter
THE Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, while considering the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) concerning the stray dog menace in the city, has directed the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to place its compliance report by December 7. The Court also directed the Commissioner of Police (CP) to bring under control the nuisance created by dogs by exercising powers.
“We would request the learned Additional Government Pleader to take up the issue with the Commissioner of Police and see that no nuisance is created by the stray dogs. If it is found that there is nuisance created, it should be brought in control by the Commissioner of Police in exercise of the powers under Section 44 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, subject to directions of this Court,” the Court said.
On NMC, the Division bench of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice M W Chandwani was of the view that the NMC must show enthusiasm and take the requisite initiative for complying with the Court’s directions.
Justice Shukre lamented the fact that some ‘so-called’ NGOs were merely doing lip-service by intervening into court matters. He orally asked the NGOs to contribute for the welfare of dogs. “You are not coming forward and not paying money for dogs. Unless you perform duty you cannot point fingers at others,” Justice Shukre said, when an intervenor tried to put all responsibility on NMC.
When Justice Shukre categorically asked an intervenor how much she was spending on dogs, the intervenor replied that she was spending around Rs 5,000/- to Rs 6,000/- per month for feeding biscuits to dogs. To this Justice Shukre made an oral observation, “Biscuits is not staple food for dogs.” He also asked NGOs to help in finding an expert stray dog catcher.
The court said that taxpayers’ money cannot be spent in a casual manner whereas the NGOs agitating for the rights of stray dogs remain inactive whenever called for by the local authorities. “Most of the NGOs are just igniting the spark and they do nothing. The Public Interest Litigations (PIL) are cooperative litigation,” Justice Shukre observed.
The Court ordered that the intervenors, who wish to be join as party-respondents, to deposit an amount of Rs 10 lakh in this Court to show their bonafides. While a suggestion was made by an NGO that the Animal Welfare Board of India must be made a party to the PILs, it was pointed out by the counsel for the petitioners Adv Firdos Mirza that the said petitions were not for welfare of dogs but for the welfare of humans.
Dhantoli Nagarik Mandal, which had earlier intervened in the matter, pointed to the Court that the complaint on the basis of which the society had intervened has not been dealt with by the NMC at all despite specific orders by the High Court.
Adv. Ashwin Deshpande, appearing for the Mandal, pointed out that certain people have started bogus collaring of stray dogs in order to ensure that the said dogs are not picked up by the authorities.
The Court, while responding to it, commented that there is a procedure involved to collar a particular dog which requires registration and further, a licence. Merely collaring a stray dog doesn’t make it a pet dog.
It was further clarified by the High Court that the order passed by it on October 20 which was challenged before the Supreme Court has not been completely stayed. Only a part of it which concerns adoption of stray dogs has been stayed whereas the remaining portion remains operative, which has also been observed by the Supreme Court in its order dated November 16. Adv Firdos Mirza appeared for the petitioner, Adv Ashwin Deshpande and Aradhya Pande for Dhantoli Nagarik Mandal, Adv Kasat for NMC, Adv Sanyal and Adv Atharva Manohar for
intervenor.