The Allahabad High Court has passed an order that is opposite to the ambiguous views of the Karnataka High Court, the Bombay High Court, the Shimla High Court and upholds the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules unambiguously.
On the 15th of May, 2013, the Chief Justice’s bench of the Allahabad High Court has passed the FIRST UNEQUIVOCAL ORDER by any High Court, expressly disregarding municipal law provisions that allow the destruction of stray dogs ; and upholding the mandate of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, i.e., dog population, dog nuisance, and the threat of rabies will be controlled through sterilization and vaccination of dogs. The order can be seen HERE.
The Bombay High Court on the 19th of December, 2008 ; the Karnataka High Court on the 7th of December, 2012 ; and the High Court of H.P. at Shimla on the 23rd of March, 2013, had passed orders envisaging displacement and / or destruction of stray dogs – deemed to be a ‘nuisance’, or found to be a ‘menace’ (irrespective of whether they had ever bitten or tried to bite), or simply found to be straying.
All the above said orders have been since stayed by the Supreme Court of India. You can read about the High Court orders, and the Supreme Court stay orders, here:
- Supreme Court stays Mumbai High Court order on stray dogs
- Supreme Court stays Karnataka High Court order on stray dogs
- Supreme Court stays Shimla High Court order on stray dogs
THE CHIEF JUSTICE’S BENCH OF THE ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT HAS HOWEVER TAKEN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED, and specifically stated, among other things that :
“We are not in agreement with the prayer made by the petitioner that the stray dogs or dogs without owner should be killed by the Municipal Corporation because it has the power to do so under the relevant Act of 1959, i.e. U.P. Municipal Corporation Adhiniyam, 1959. One of the reasons for not accepting the prayer for killing the stray dogs is provision in Part IV-A indicating fundamental duties in the Constitution of India. Article 51 – A(g) of the Constitution cast a duty on every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. The other reason is statutory provisions in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the rules framed there under, namely, the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001”.
The High Court has also referred to Rule 6 of the Rules, and noticed, that the local authority is obliged by law to provide necessary infrastructure to animal welfare organizations, to conduct sterilization and immunization of dogs ; and to reimburse the expenses they incur during the course of animal birth control.
The High Court has then ordered a population survey of the stray dogs in the city of Lucknow, AND VERY PROGRESSIVELY AND COMPASSIONATELY STATED, that the Lucknow Municipal Corporation is, “on the basis of relevant statistics, to decide whether it is expedient to control stray dogs population in the city of Lucknow or not. In case it is required to be done, then the exercise of sterilization and immunization of stray dogs should be carried out without delay”.
This order, passed by the Chief Justice’s bench of the largest High Court in the country, will surely positively impact the special leave petitions, i.e. the appeals against the Bombay, Karnataka and Shimla High Court orders, that are slated to come up for hearing before the Supreme Court of India in January, 2014.