The Bombay High Court has directed the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to clarify as to whether or not the dogs which have been collared by corporation authorities have been sterilised and if so, whether their ears have been clipped and/or tattooed and as to whether or not tokens have been issued to those dogs while maintaining a register of sterilised dogs.
The Nagpur Division Bench of Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice M.W. Chandwani heard a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in respect of eliminating nuisance and menace of stray dogs in Nagpur.
The Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, filed his affidavit tendering an unconditional apology in response to the show cause notice issued to him on the last occasion. His affidavit of apology is not happily worded but, the Court is willing to grant leniency to the Deputy Commissioner with the hope that he has realised now the responsibility and duty of his office. The unconditional apology is accepted by the High Court and the issue of proposed contempt action against him is closed.
F.T. Mirza, Advocate for the petitioners, submitted the Commissioner of Police has only issued a Circular directing police stations to take appropriate action in terms of the order of the Court initiating action under Section 44 of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951. According to him, without publication of notice, no action under Section 44 of the Maharashtra Police Act, can be taken and, therefore, the issuance of such Circular would not suffice any purpose.
The High Court is of the view that unless some information is received by the Commissioner of Police regarding nuisance created by dogs in particular localities, the Commissioner of Police would not be in a position to exercise his statutory powers and this information, if it is credible and disclosing real nuisance, can possibly come, among others, from the concerned Police Stations. Therefore, the Court found nothing wrong in issuing the Circular on the part of the Commissioner of Police.
Atharva Manohar, counsel for respondent no.11 (Save Speechless Organization), submitted that on the directions of the NMC, his organization apprehended four stray dogs and as per further directions of the Corporation, sterilised three of the four. He further submits that fourth one could not be sterilised, as he was too young and sick. He further submits that now there is an issue about custody of the four stray dogs. He submits that if permission is granted by the High Court to respondent no.11 to either retain the custody of four stray dogs or to give them in adoption to respondent no.11, it would ensure the welfare of these four stray dogs.
The Court is in agreement with the said submission of counsel for respondent no.11 and, therefore, granted permission to respondent no.11, as sought.
“We direct the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to clarify as to whether or not the dogs which have been collared by the Corporation Authorities have been sterilised and if so, whether their ears have been clipped and/or tattooed and as to whether or not tokens have been issued to those dogs while maintaining the register of such sterilised dogs. We direct the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to place before us the register of sterilisation of dogs on the next date. Stand over to 4th January, 2023,” the order reads.