- If you are at the NCT of Delhi, always keep this handy when lodging a complaint against an animal offender.
- If you feel you are meeting with police apathy, show this to the concerned police person, or together with your complaint that you submit in writing, enclose this as well.
- If you are in any other State or Union Territory, lobby with the senior police authorities of your state or union territory, to get a similar Directive issued to the police force.
Sections in The Indian Penal Code, 1860
428. Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees.- Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animals or animal of the value of the ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
429. Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.– Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, of any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
378. Theft.– Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’ s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft. Explanation 1.- A thing so long as it is attached to the earth, not being movable property, is not the subject of theft; but it becomes capable of being the subject of theft as soon as it is severed from the earth.
379. Punishment for theft.– Whoever commits theft shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
503. Criminal intimidation.– Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation. Explanation.- A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section. Illustration A, for the purpose of inducing B to resist from prosecuting a civil suit, threatens to burn B’ s house. A is guilty of criminal intimidation.
Articles in The Constitution Of India 1949
51A. Fundamental duties It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
48A. Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country
This directive came about as a result of the experiences of Ms Shreela Debi in New Delhi. By her own account:
“I was harassed badly and regularly by some residents in my colony for walking dogs on ‘their’ street, the dogs include one ‘pet’ extremely friendly dog and other community dogs who like to walk with us – all totally harmless, sterilised and vaccinated.
Soon a couple of men got so vicious that I had to complain to the police for harassment. They were then warned by the police. The verbal harassment stopped, but lurked just below the surface. At this point I sent copies of all the legal provisions that protect stray animals. Including the bit that the Registrations of RWAs can be cancelled if they cross the line. There were frequent skirmishes over my feeding the dogs, I cover a relatively large area, so complaints came from many. The usual complaints were – the dogs stay around there because we feed them. No matter how much I explained that it was exactly the opposite, the unpleasant encounters never stopped. By this time people had started calling up from all over Delhi about how they were being intimidated by neighbors, RWAs and associations. I was out at least a couple of times a week and although I managed to douse the fires, I realized this running around was not possible, nor practical.
There was another particularly tragic complaint where a man who offered boarding to dogs managed to make the dogs disappear and then he himself moved to Calcutta. Till date the human parents don’t know what happened. They are devastated. The police laughed when they complained and fobbed them off because they knew nothing about the law.
That’s how the idea of getting a directive from the Police HQ became an important focus. I have been assisting the Delhi Police for a while now concerning women’s issues. There also I work individually and independently. So I decided to try and see if I could involve the Spl CP Law and Order to issue an official order to the effect of what you have seen.”
- Take a print out of this Circular, and visit, or write to the Commissioner of Police, or the Director General or Inspector General of Police of your state or union territory, demanding that it be given effect to.
- Demand, that animal protection laws be included in the training syllabus for police forces. More often than not, they know nothing about these, and our animals bear the brunt of their ignorance. If the police forces are trained properly in this regard, booking and fighting crimes against animals shall become so much easier.