The Supreme Court in the case of Swati Sudhirchandra Chatterjee and ors v. Vijay Shankarrao Talwar and ors [Diary No. 35297-2022] put a stay on the Bombay High Court's order(Nagpur Bench) about the people involved in public feeding, protection and welfare of Stray dogs in Nagpur. Those interested should adopt them and bear the costs of their maintenance. No such forcible steps can be adopted in furtherance of the ruling of the Bombay High Court which banned the public feeding of stray dogs.
A two-judge bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and J K Maheshwari passed an interim order concerning a petition against the Nagpur bench’s order filed by a group of dog lovers. The court asked the public to make sure that no nuisance is created while public feeding stray dogs.
It states that in pursuance of the High Court’s order, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has started mass picking of stray dogs and their detention. It further directed the NMC to take concerted steps to feed the stray dogs at appropriate locations marked by them. The Municipal authorities are free to deal with any nuisance caused due to stray dogs in the meantime as per the Laws. Municipal officials are free to record the names and details of anyone who feeds a stray dog and causes a public disturbance. However, under the High Court's order, authorities should not take coercive measures in the form of penalties regarding the feeding of stray dogs.
The court ordered the NMC and Animal Welfare Board of India to give submissions. A senior lawyer, Gopal Sankaranarayanan opposed the interim order’s directions. As suggested by him, some studies show that feeding dogs make them more aggressive. Justice Sanjiv Khanna contradicted the objection and observed that it is unacceptable to say that stray dogs should be adopted or kept in detention. If the problem is their population, they can be transferred according to the law.
The petition stresses that there is no law prohibiting or criminalizing the feeding of stray dogs, and therefore submits that Article 226 can be violated if the statutory authorities will act contrary to the law. Rule 7 of the Animal Contraception Regulations mentions that any dog can be detained only in specific cases of dog bites or nuisance caused in public places because of them. Therefore, the court order to detain stray dogs is not legal. A pedigree recognizes the right to life and dignity of animals and the right to protection from humans. The High Court's ruling is also alleged to be inconsistent with the provisions of the Prevent of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. The petition states that "compassion for living beings" is a constitutional requirement, as reflected in Article 51-A (g) of Article IV-A, which describes the fundamental obligations of every citizen. Thus, the Apex court stayed the Bombay High Court’s ruling for not being practical.
Refer to the following case for more details - Swati Sudhirchandra Chatterjee and ors v. Vijay Shankarrao Talwar and ors [Diary No. 35297-2022]