Supreme Court Takes a Firm Stand on Street Dog Issue, Sets Clear Boundaries for Case Scope

In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday articulated its intent to address the issue of stray dogs, particularly concerning the orders passed by various municipal bodies in Mumbai and Kerala. However, the apex court emphasized that it will not expand the scope of the ongoing case.

During the proceedings, the bench, comprising Justices J.K Maheshwari and Sanjay Karol, clarified their position on the matter. “We want to make it clear that we are not backing away from addressing this issue, but we will not allow the scope of this case to expand,” Justice Maheshwari stated.

The judges advised the parties involved to study the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2023, as these could potentially resolve many of the issues previously raised. They stressed the importance of these newly implemented rules, suggesting that a thorough understanding could lead to the resolution of up to 90% of the problems currently being debated.

One of the attorneys present highlighted the recent advisory issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which supports the enforcement of the 2023 rules. “If we all adhere to these guidelines, I can assure you that most of the issues will be resolved,” the lawyer remarked.

The bench further instructed, “Please read the 2023 rules and the advisory carefully. If most problems are being resolved after studying them, then we can say that authorities may review the cases and handle the issues according to the law. And if problems still arise thereafter, the parties are free to approach the High Courts.”

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The court has scheduled the next hearing for May 8, continuing to withhold any interim directions until it has fully considered the relevant laws, their implementation, and the issues previously raised. Last year in September, the court had expressed its intention to deliberate on the varying opinions presented by different High Courts on this matter before making any final decisions.

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