The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Delhi High Court order that held that citizens reserve the right to take care of street dogs. In July, Justice JR Midha of the Delhi High Court had held that stray dogs reserve the right to food and citizens can take care of them. The judge had likewise said that while practicing the right to take care of the dogs, “care and caution ought to be taken to guarantee that it doesn’t encroach upon the rights of others” or lead to any problems to them. The High Court had coordinated that dogs ought to be taken care of at areas assigned by the Animal Welfare Board of India in consultation with Resident Welfare Associations or Municipal Corporation.
On Friday, a bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose gave notification to the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Delhi government, and different respondents on the petition filed against the High Court order by the nonlegislative organization Humane Foundation for People and Animals.
In its petition, the NGO said that the High Court’s decision could lead to an expansion in a stray dog danger. It said that the High Court neglected to see the differences in the behavior of stray dogs and dogs raised by people.
“Given that stray dogs are not owned, they can be very unpredictable,” the Plea said.
“[Stray] Dogs may bite, attack and kill people and other animals for numerous reasons such as hunger, territorial aggression, overstimulation, redirected aggression, insecurity, fear, defense, genes, breed, injury, sickness, status in the pack, etc.”
It is said that on contrary, dogs under a human’s management and control can be kept from attacking individuals or other animals.
This should be possible by physical restraint, confining the dogs to private property, and suppressing their aggressive tendencies with care and training, the appeal said.
“This is not the case with stray dogs,” it said. “Therefore feeding in societies, streets, markets, parks or at any public places is a direct risk to citizens, pedestrians, two-wheeler riders, children and the elderly in particular as well as being violative of various existing laws.”
The NGO said that the High Court’s order was in opposition to the Supreme Court directions passed in 2009.
The Supreme Court order had in 2009 directed “High Courts not to pass any order relating to the 1960 Act (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act) and the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules 2001”.
The petitioner also asserted that the High Court directions depended on a few “blatantly misleading, irrelevant and factually incorrect statements and misinformation concerning dog behavior”.
The case started because of a question between two residents of the Inderpuri region of Delhi. Maya Chablani had filed a petition under High Court to restrain Radha Mittal from feeding dogs close to her property.
While the debate was settled, the High Court appointed advocate Pragyan Sharma as amicus curiae and proceeded to issue guidelines for stray dogs with the assistance of the Delhi government and Animal Welfare Board of India.