Bombay HC Issues Contempt Notice To Advocate & Municipal Corporation Official Seeking Feeding Spot For Dogs Inside HC Premises
The Bombay High Court has issued show-cause notice to an official of Municipal Corporation, Nagpur, and an Advocate who had sought a feeding spot for dogs inside the premises of the High Court.
The bench of Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice M.W. Chandwani, while dealing with a Public Interest Litigation relating to stray dog menace, observed that the Registry had received a letter from the Deputy Commissioner & Director of Solid Waste Management Department, Municipal Corporation, Nagpur making a request to the Registrar (Administration) to suggest a place situated in the premises of the High Court for being designated as a feeding spot for dogs.
The Court observed that the letter was sent to Registrar (Administration) by the Deputy Commissioner which he received from an Advocate.
Advocate F.T. Mirza appeared for Petitioners, D.P. Thakare Additional Government Pleader appeared for the State, Advocate Sundeep R. Badana appeared for Intervenor and Advocate S.M. Puranik appeared for Nagpur Municipal Corporation.
"The letter sent by Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Nagpur and also the letter sent to him by Advocate Ms. Ankita Kamlesh Shah, in our prima facie opinion, are contemptuous of the authority of this Court for the reasons that they have been sent in a subjudice matter…", the Court noted.
The Court further noted that there was no provision of law quoted in either of the letters that a right exists in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to identify High Court premises as a place for feeding dogs.
The Court observed that "The request letter of Advocate Ms. Ankita Kamlesh Shah, which has been endorsed to by the Deputy Commissioner, Nagpur Municipal Corporation prima facie appears to be an attempt at preempting the issue involved in this Petition with a view to drawing some publicity in the matter, and thus, prima facie, amounts to interference in administration of justice."
The Court noted that if such an effort is allowed to go on, a possibility of mischief mongers playing havoc with High Security Areas such as Vidhan Bhavan, Airport, Air Force establishment, Military establishment, Railway Station, District Court, Atomic Mineral Division establishment and so on cannot be ruled out.
The Court directed to issue show-cause notice to both official of Municipal Corporation as well as to the Advocate as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them for attempting to interfere with the administration of justice by the Court.
The Court was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting the stray dog menace in Nagpur and other districts.
Cause Title- Vijay and others v. The State of Maharashtra & others