Chandigarh: Expressing concern over the increasing nuisance of stray dogs and dog bites, city-based high court advocate has written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) requesting him to start hearing the case pending with Supreme Court (SC) since 2015. The final order could help governments come to a conclusion about an effective way to handle the situation, said the advocate pointing out that as the case is pending with the SC, all the high courts were requested not to pass any order relating to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Performing Animal Rules, 2001.
The pending case is between Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for Elimination of Stray Troubles and others. In the letter addressed to CJI, it was mentioned that many cases are pending in Punjab and Haryana high court where no final order is being pronounced, making it impossible for Tricity to formulate laws to deal with dog bites.
According to advocate HC Arora, the whole of India, including Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, face a serious threat due to over explosion of the population of stray dogs. It was mentioned in the letter that on a rough estimate nearly 20,000 people are bitten by stray dogs every day in the country. In some cases, the bites were so serious that people have died because of them.
Stating that many public interest litigations (PILs) filed by victims of dog bites are also pending with most high courts, Arora said these petitions should be allowed to proceed so that appropriate directions can be issued to the state governments for curbing the menace of stray dogs. According to him, the hearing of such petitions came to a standstill because of an interim order dated November 18, 2015 passed by the Supreme Court of India in the case related to Animal Welfare Board of India Vs. People for Elimination of Stay Troubles and others. The order requested all high courts not to pass any order relating to 1960 Act and 2001 Rules, pertaining to the stray dogs.
Arora had also referred to the case pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court in which the petitioner, the father of a child, who died on account of stray dog bite, was claiming compensation.
During the pendency of this writ petition, the high court had issued several directions to the states of Punjab and Haryana, and to the Union Territory Chandigarh for framing policy for giving compensation to the victims of stray dog bites, and also for cubing the menace of stray dogs itself by various means. But the November 2015 order of the SC had made those directions void, added the advocate.
It was mentioned that the last hearing of the case pending with the SC took place on June 8, 2018 but no order was passed. The advocate thus requested the CJI to start day-to-day hearing of the case at the earliest and sort the issue once and for all.
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