The Bombay High Court has observed that scaring or threatening dogs using sticks by the security guards of the society amounts to an act of cruelty to the animals.

A Division Bench comprising Justice G.S. Kulkarni and Justice R.N. Laddha said, “In so far as the Security Guards causing any scare/threat to the animals by using sticks is concerned, we direct the Society to entertain complaints from the petitioner and other members of the society in this regard, so that appropriate action can be taken against such Security Guards who are indulging in such actions. This would be necessary as we are of the clear opinion that such coercive methods would certainly amount to an act of cruelty to the animals.”

The Bench further said that such methods being used by the Security Guards or any other persons would aggravate the behaviour of the animals, apart from inflicting cruelty to the animals.

Advocates Nishad Nevgi and Rahul Sarda represented the petitioner while Advocate Kunal Waghmare appeared for the Municipal Corporation and AGP Manish Upadhye represented the State.

In this case, a dispute in regard to the designated feeding areas for the dogs arose before the Court the details of which were set out in the report of the Chief Executive Officer of the organization “The Welfare of Stray Dogs”. The said CEO was appointed by the High Court to bring about the resolution of the issues raised in this case.

CEO had visited the RNA Royale Park Co-operative Housing Society and prepared a report rendering his findings. The petitioner intended to provide drinking water to the dogs in the society.

The High Court in view of the aforesaid asserted, “It would be an obligation of the residents of the society to always make provision for adequate water to be made available to the animals more particularly considering the onset of the summer season.”

The Court further while dealing with the issue concerning the timings of feeding dogs, left it to the parties to decide the same and keep some flexibility in such timings.

“… we do not intend to delve into any disputed issues of facts as canvassed before us. … At this stage, learned counsel for the petitioner, on instructions of the petitioner who is present in the Court, states that the petitioner would not bring within the premises of the society any new stray dogs. Statement is accepted”, observed the Court.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the pleas.

Cause Title- Paromita Puthran v. The Municipal Corporation of Gr. Mumbai (Neutral Citation: 2023:BHC-AS:12361-DB)

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