A woman has moved the Delhi High Court “on behalf of all dogs of Delhi” against the law that allows municipal authorities in the national capital to “destroy” dogs that are stray or unregistered.
She also argued that recent incidents of dog bite in Delhi’s satellite cities Ghaziabad and Noida in UP were “staged”.
The court has listed it for hearing in February and asked the central government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to file replies, news agencies reported.
The petition by a woman named Kamini Khanna came up before the bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on October 14. She has challenged a recent MCD advisory asking people to register their pets, and wants directions to restrain the authorities from removing, harming or killing any street dog.
Her contention is that if registration is made mandatory, those who give food to strays or “community dogs” may stop providing the meals “to wriggle out of the responsibility to get the dogs registered”. This, Ms Khanna argues, would deprive the animals of “one decent meal” and also “give arbitrary power” to the MCD.
She has specified Section 399 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act that says bylaws may be made to allow that “any dog which has not been registered… if found in any public place, be detained at a place set apart for the purpose”. The MCD may fix a fee for the detention, and if that’s not paid in a week “such dog shall be liable to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of”.
This section goes against the fundamental right to life as described in the Constitution and the laws on animal protection, the petition says.
The petition cites the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which says that an animal be put down if it would be cruel to keep it alive — usually in case of incurable, painful disease.