Bombay HC Directs State And Civic Body To Grant Interim Compensation To Parents Of 5-Yr-Old Who Died After Stray Dog Attack [Read Order]

Bombay HC Directs State And Civic Body To Grant Interim Compensation To Parents Of 5-Yr-Old Who Died After Stray Dog Attack [Read Order]

The Bombay High Court recently directed the State of Maharashtra and the Municipal Corporation in Sangli, Maharashtra, to compensate the parents of a 5-year-old boy Tejas, who succumbed to his injuries after being attacked and bitten by a group of 5-6 stray dogs.

Tejas had gone to watch a cricket match with his father and on their way back home, he was bitten. Tejas's father could not save him and the cause of death in the death certificate issued by the Government Hospital on the next day was recorded as death due to haemorrhagic shock in a case of an animal bite.

A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice SK Shinde also asked the committee headed by the Secretary of Urban Development Department to decide and quantify if there is any compensation that is to be given to the family. The said committee was set up under a GR dated August 11, 2016, and also looked into cases of dog bites.

The petitioner parents had sought a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs. They contended that their son died due to the negligence on part of the municipal authorities and the state government in preventing the menace of street dogs. The contention was that the Municipal Corporation and the state government infringed the fundamental right of the said boy under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, thereby, causing enormous mental trauma to the petitioners who are the parents.

The court noted that the said committee did nothing for one and a half years after filing an affidavit stating that the issue of compensation would be looked into.

After examining various judgments of the Supreme Court, the bench said:

"The Apex Court held that awarding of compensation in a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, is a remedy available in public law based on strict liability for contravention of fundamental rights to which the principles of sovereign immunity do not apply."

The court further observed-

"Under the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act,1988 and in particular section 140 which deals with compensation in case of fatal accidents on the basis of "No Fault Liability", compensation of Rs.50,000/¬ is made payable by the amendment of the year 1994 and the present petition has been filed on April 1, 2015."

Thus, the court decided to grant an interim compensation amount of Rs 50,000 to the petitioners at 8% interest from July 25, 2015. The court directed the committee to take a final decision regarding the quantification of compensation amount by January 31. The interim compensation amount will be shared by the state and the civic body in Sangli.

Read the Order Here