Plea in SC against Bombay HC order over guidelines on stray dog feedings
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court’s order issuing guidelines on stray dog feeding.
The petition was heard before a bench led by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, who agreed to hear it next week.
The petitioner has challenged the Bombay High Court order, which issued a slew of directives and directed civic officials and police to take “stern action” against anyone impeding their efforts to combat the stray dog menace.
Surbhi Kapoor, an advocate-on-record, filed the petition. The petitioner contended that the High Court’s orders are in conflict with the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1961.
Under Section 44 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, the High Court has issued a blanket order to the concerned authorities to detain all stray community dogs wandering the public streets.
The petition read, “As far as the direction, in respect of Section 44 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 are concerned, it is respectfully submitted that The aforesaid provision contemplates issuance of a public notice proclaiming that any stray dog found wandering in the street or in any public place maybe destroyed”.
The petition said, “The provision does not contemplate detention of dogs. Subclause (3) of Section 44 provides that a dog which has been detained may be destroyed or sold. A comprehensive reading of Section 44 makes it abundantly clear that the scheme of the said provision is to detain the dogs found to be wandering in the streets or in any public place in contravention of any public notice issued by the competent authority”.
In October, the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench ordered those interested in feeding dogs to “formally adopt” them, while also issuing a slew of orders concerning stray dog feeding. The High Court issued a slew of directives, including directing civic officials and police to take “stern action” against anyone impeding their efforts to combat the scourge of stray dogs. People who want to feed strays must first formally adopt them and only feed them inside their homes, according to the court.
The High Court has ordered that no citizen or resident of Nagpur or its surrounding areas feed or attempt to feed stray dogs in public places, gardens, etc., and has directed the Municipal Commissioner of Nagpur and the Municipal Corporation to ensure that no such feeding takes place anywhere other than the owners’ homes.
The court also directed the Commissioner of Nagpur Municipal Corporation to ensure that no street dogs are fed anywhere other than the dog feeder’s home, dog shelter homes, or any other authorized location, and to impose an appropriate penalty for any violation of these directions.