SC to hear on Oct 18 pleas on issues regarding stray dogs

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will hear on October 18 a batch of pleas on issues relating to orders passed by various civic bodies regarding stray dogs, especially in Kerala and Mumbai.

A bench of justices J K Maheshwari and K V Viswanathan observed it does not want to give any interim direction in the matter and will take a call after going through the relevant statutes, rules, their implementation and the issues raised before it.

The bench said pleadings in all the pleas be completed and the nodal counsel, appointed from both the sides, would file a compilation of verdicts and list of lawyers who would argue slot-wise.

“Our intention in this case is that we do not want to give any interim direction. We want to go through the statutes, rules, their implementation, the problem and then find a solution. We have thought it would be a right way,” the bench told the lawyers appearing in the matter.

One of the advocates said separate high courts have taken different views on the issue.

The bench, which said all formalities including completion of service to some of the parties be completed within three weeks, posted the matter for hearing on October 18.

While hearing the matter in October last year, the apex court had asked the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to file an affidavit enclosing data with regard to dog bites during the last seven years in different states and prominent cities of the states.

“The board (AWBI) shall indicate whether they would like this court to (give) directions to the states or local authorities with regard to enforcement of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the applicable rules,” it had said.

The top court had earlier said a balance has to be maintained between the safety of people and animal rights.

Some NGOs and individual petitioners have moved the apex court against the decisions of some high courts, including the Bombay High Court and Kerala High Court, to allow municipal authorities to deal with the menace of stray dogs as per the rules.

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