Posted On 26/12/2012 By In Law for Animals With 1034 Views

The 1st availability of the official Karnataka High Court Verdict on Stray Dogs (Part III): Dogs which are a menace or cause nuisance irrespective of whether there is evidence of such dogs having mauled or bitten children or adults, can be exterminated by the BBMP

The Voice of Stray Dogs is releasing the the 1st available copy (we know of) of the judgment pronounced by the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore on the 7th of December, 2012, in the matters that have come to be known as the Stray Dog matters, i.e. WP(PIL) No .26996-27009/2003, 37197/2011 clubbed with WP(PIL)641/2007, WP(PIL)501/2007, WP(PIL)7642/2007, WP(PIL)7644/2007, WP (PIL)6229/2007,  WP(PIL) 4920/2007, WP (PIL)427/2007 AND WP No.4034/2007.  This is shared here in the following parts

As pointed out by us earlier, the terms “menace” and “nuisance” have not been defined by the Hon’ble court. After the passing of this judgment therefore, the lives of the stray dogs of Bangalore depend on BBMP definitions, with the AWOs specifically excluded from interfering.

In addition to our first analysis, which can be read here, the following additional points emerge after a reading of the judgment:

  1. That it was brought to the notice of the Court (at para 26, page 53 of the judgment) that the BBMP had filed an impleadment application before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, seeking to implead itself in S.L.P. (C) No. 691 of 2009, and assailing and calling into question, the ABC (Dogs) Rules, 2001, vide the same. It was also urged before the Court that the BBMP could not therefore contend that injuries and mauling caused by stray dogs had reduced because of effective implementation of ABC. What was either, NOT BROUGHT TO THE NOTICE OF THE COURT, OR NOT NOTICED BY THE COURT, was that the BBMP application before the Supreme Court stood dismissed in early 2012. An account regarding the dismissal of the application (vide which the BBMP had specifically sought for culling of dogs in excess of what is allowed by the ABC Rules) can be seen here
  2. That it was brought to the notice of the Court (at para 27, page 54 of the judgment) that the affidavit of the Joint Director, Animal Husbandry of the BBMP revealed that even the BBMP was in favor of culling stray dogs.
  3. The Court while specifically noticing that the destruction of stray dogs by such methods as may be prescribed, is not tantamount to cruelty under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, failed to realize that the only circumstances and methods prescribed are contained in Rule 9 of the ABC (Dogs) Rule, 2001, which reads as follows :
    • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act Rule 9. Euthanasia of Street Dogs : Incurably ill and mortally wounded dogs as diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian appointed by the committee shall be euthanised during specified hours in a humane manner by administering sodium pentathol for adult dogs and Thiopental Introperitoneal for puppies by a qualified veterinarian or euthanised in any other humane manner approved by Animal Welfare Board of India. No dog shall be euthanised in the presence of another dog. The person responsible for euthanizing shall make sure that the animal is dead, before disposal.
  4. The Court also failed to take into account that Rule 13 of the ABC (Dogs) Rules clearly mandates that State laws which provide for consequences for dogs that are worse than those provided by the ABC (Dogs) Rules, cannot prevail over the ABC Rules. Therefore, if the State law vests very wide discretion in the Municipal Commissioner with respect to destruction of strays, and the Central Rules clearly state that only incurably ill and mortally wounded dogs can be euthanized, the latter will provide over the State law (in this case, the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976). Rule 13 reads as follows :
    • Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976). Rule 13. Application of rules where local bye-laws etc., exist– If there is in force in any area to which these rules extend, any Act, rule, regulation or bye-law made under any law for the time being in force by the State or the Local Authority in respect of any of the matters for which provision is made in these rules, such rule, regulation or bye-law shall to the extent to which
      • (a) it contains provisions less irksome to the animal than those contained in these rules, shall prevail;
      • (b) it contains provisions more irksome to the animal than those contained in these rules, be of no effect.

The BBMP has clearly got the result it not only desired but has actively sought:

  • In no small measure due to BBMP’s assertions at the Supreme Court
  • And the affidavit of Dr Parvez Piran, BBMP’s Jt Director of Animal Husbandry,  and the poster boy of Animal Welfare Organizations in Bangalore on the welfare of stray dogs.

For some of the other defendants of the dogs it looks like a curious case of sleeping with the enemy!

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