HC directs constitution of expert panel to check dog menace

‘Previous committee skipped Municipal Corporation Act, Regulations’


Srinagar, Mar 12: The High Court on Tuesday directed the Jammu and Kashmir Animal Welfare Board to constitute a team of experts in a week on suggestion of its executive committee to provide a remedial solution to dog menace in the summer capital.        
 A division bench comprising justices Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Janak Raj Kotwal while passing orders on a Public Interest Litigation directed that the committee would file in three weeks its report suggesting concrete proposal to deal with the dog menace here.
 The court however said that the committee shall come out with the proposal after comprehensive study of the problem and after following the sections 304 of the J&K Municipal Corporation Act and Regulation NO 8(111) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bye Laws, 2011.
 The court held that the committee which was earlier constituted while not appreciating the provisions of J & K Municipal Corporation Act and ignoring regulation NO 8(111) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Establishment and Regulation of Animal Welfare Board and Societies) Bye Laws, 2011, has narrowed down the scope of the provisions which provide for taking care of the ferocious stray dogs.
 “In Regulation No 8, it is made amply clear that the authorities shall ensure destruction of unwanted/ stray animals whenever it becomes necessary to do so. Since the committee has ignored all these aspects and has concluded the matter by adopting shortcut method by suggesting that Animal Birth Control (ABC) is the only long term method for controlling population of the dogs”, the court held.
 The court said that the committee has failed to take care of ferocious stray dogs by hoodwinking the scope of provisions of MCA and ignoring the Regulation.
 Referring to the report submitted by the earlier committee, the Court said, “the committee in its report has mostly focused on animal birth control which has an impact of controlling the population of stray dogs but the present problem of dog biting by ferocious dogs remains as the peril of public at large.”
  “ABC is alright but that shall not absolve the authorities from taking care of ferocious stray dogs who have made the life of the human beings miserable” the court said, adding “it is in this context that section 304 has been incorporated in the JK Municipal Corporation Act, 2000.”
 The court held that Regulation 8 (111) is applicable to the present case as the Committee shall suggest all the steps to the Board to ensure destruction of the unwanted/ stray animals.
 Earlier a six member Committee constituted by the Chief Secretary in compliance with the court directions had suggested six methods including garbage management, elimination by killing, shifting them to various sanctuaries, chemical sterilization, creation of dog ponds- for dealing with the menace.
 Finally, the Committee had suggested that ABC- AR is the only long term humane, permanent and sustainable solution. The committee while considering the suggestions about elimination by killing has referred to section 304(1) of the JK Municipal Corporation Act 200. 
 J&K HCBA had filed reply to the report of the expert committee stating that the report of the expert committee was without substance and had stressed that the menace could be done away with by following the provisions of section 304 (2) ( a-b) of the Municipal Corporation Act.
 Seeking rejection of the report submitted by the expert committee, the Bar had maintained that only in keeping with of section 304 (2) ( a-b) of the Municipal Corporation Act, the dog menace could be eradicated in the State. “In terms of section 2 (1) of prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1990, an animal means any domestic or captured animal or a bird but it did not include any stray dog” it said.
 Advocate, Mian Abdul Qayoom represented HCBA, Senior Counsel R A Jan, AAG Shabir Vakil, Advocate B A Khan, ASG S A Makroo represented respondents.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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