Though Dogs Are Treated As Children By Owners, They Are Not Human Beings: Bombay HC Quashes Case Against Driver For Mowing Down Dog
The Bombay High Court has quashed the FIR registered against a food delivery partner at Swiggy for mowing down a street dog while riding his bike. In this incident, though both were injured, the dog subsequently passed away.
The Bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Prithviraj K. Chavan observed that Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code pertains to acts endangering human life and noted that it would not apply to the case.
“No doubt, a dog/cat is treated as a child or as a family member by their owners, but basic biology tells us that they are not human beings. Sections 279 and 337 of the Indian Penal Code pertains to acts endangering human life, or likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person. Thus, legally speaking the said Sections will have no application to the facts in hand, this essential ingredient necessary to constitute the offences, being amiss.”, the Court noted.
In this case, the petitioner was booked under Sections 279, 337, 429 of the IPC, Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Section 11(a)(b) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Advocate Tripti R. Shetty appeared for the Petitioner whereas APP S.S.Hulke appeared for State.
The Counsel for the petitioner said that in an attempt to save the dog which had suddenly come before the bike, the petitioner suddenly applied brakes and veered to the side, however, unfortunately the dog also moved to the same side.
The Court noted that none of the aforesaid sections could have been applied to the facts of the case.
“The application of these Sections by the Marine Drive Police clearly shows non-application of mind. How Sections 279, 337, 429 of the Indian Penal Code could have been applied to the case in hand, even from a bare perusal of these Sections, defies logic.”, the Court noted.
The Court observed that there was no intent whatsoever of the petitioner to cause the death of the dog and that nothing is shown by the prosecution to show that the petitioner was driving beyond the speed limit.
Thus the Court quashed the FIR registered against the petitioner.
While observing that the police had lodged the prosecution despite no offence having been disclosed, the Court imposed cost of Rs.20,000 on the State.
“Considering that the police had lodged the said prosecution despite no offence having been disclosed, we deem it appropriate to direct the State Government to pay costs of Rs.20,000/- to the petitioner. However, the said costs shall be recovered from the salary of the concerned officers responsible for lodging the FIR and later approving filing of chargesheet.”, the Court held.
Cause Title- Manas Mandar Godbole v. State of Maharashtra
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