21 Sep 2023 12:39 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Thursday orally remarked that it does not intend to issue any interim directions in the matter relating to the curbing of stray dog attacks in the country and that it wants to hear the matter on merits and issue concrete guidelines. A bench of Justice J K Maheswari and Justice K V Viswanathan was considering a batch of matters including the plea filed by the Kerala...
The Supreme Court on Thursday orally remarked that it does not intend to issue any interim directions in the matter relating to the curbing of stray dog attacks in the country and that it wants to hear the matter on merits and issue concrete guidelines.
A bench of Justice J K Maheswari and Justice K V Viswanathan was considering a batch of matters including the plea filed by the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) citing increase in stray dog attacks in Kerala, especially against children, seeking directions to curb the menace. The statutory body has filed an intervention application before the Supreme Court in a pending civil appeal in which the Kannur district panchayat has also filed a plea for a direction to euthanize suspected rabid or extremely dangerous dogs in the district. Five High Court orders are under challenge, in the batch of matters before the Apex Court.
"Our intention in this case is very clear. We don't want to give any interim directions. We want to go through statue, rules, implementation, problem and solution and issue guidelines. Thereby, the litigation in other High Courts can be curtailed." Justice J K Maheswari said.
In the written submission jointly filed by the Kannur Panchayat and the Calicut Municipal Corporation, it has been argued that the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules do not control or dilute the power of municipal authorities to destroy stray dogs. There is no conflict between the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 Act with the powers to destroy stray dogs under Panchayat Raj Act or Municipality Act, it has been argued.
When the matter was taken up today, Senior Advocate V Giri appearing for the State of Kerala said that the substantial issue to be considered is the conflict between the Animal Birth Control Rules and the local authority statutes. "In the state statute, the local authorities are given the power to exterminate the stray dogs, but ABC prescribes a different procedure", he said.
"There are two main arguments, one saying that the State statue will prevail and only those rules of the Panchayat which are 'less irksome' will apply, that's how they harmonise it. The other side is saying, no we stand apart, we have our own powers", Justice K V Viswanathan added.
"The issue is not confined to Kerala, now incidents are happening in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad. Yesterday a dog was burnt alive, the issue is rampant", a counsel submitted in court.
"Even in reporting and in arguments, there must be some sensitivity", Justice Viswanathan remarked.
The court directed service to be completed in the matter, so that it can be posted for final hearing. To facilitate better argumentation, nodal officers were appointed for both sides, to compile a list of counsels who will argue and the time allotted to each of them.
The matter has been posted to October 18th for further hearing.
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Case Title: Animal Welfare Board of India V. People For Elimination of Stray Troubles C.A. No. 5988/2019