The Supreme Court today, 17 November 2016, passed order to restrain private organizations and vigilante groups in Kerala to impart training to the children or to distribute subsidized airguns for people to kill stray dogs or to publicly propagate that there is war against the stray dogs or strangulate the stray dogs or for that matter offer prizes or incentives to those who kill the stray dogs. The court also emphasised that these directions are not exhaustive but illustrative. This order was passed by a bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy in the case of Animal Welfare Board Of India Vs. People For Elimination Of Stray Troubles & Ors [SLP (C) 691/2009].
These directions were issued when it was brought to the notice of the court that enormous cruelties are being meted out to stray dogs in the State of Kerala, and that there are instances where certain Committees, organizations and clubs have been formed to launch a crusade to kill the stray dogs and also that the children are being trained how to eliminate the stray dogs. The examples that were given involve: 1. Old Students Welfare Association of Pala-based St. Thomas College 2. St. Thomas’ College Alumni Association. 3. Youth Front (M) 4. Stray Dogs Eradication Group.
The court directed that “Justice Sri Jagan Committee” which is headed by Mr. Justice Sri Jagan, former Judge of the High Court of Kerala, shall enquire into the said aspect and that the State of Kerala will be under obligation to file criminal cases, if the situation so warrants.
Earlier, when Mr. V. Giri, counsel appearing for the State of Kerala submitted that the State is making immense efforts to curtail the spread of stray dogs and also trying that no stray dog attacks the on the human beings, the Supreme Court observed that it really fails to fathom that when there is a law in place to deal with the stray dogs, how associations and groups can be formed to train the children to kill the stray dogs or an association which can distribute subsidized airguns for people to kill stray dogs or publicly propagate that there must be war against stray dogs.
When it was pointed out by one counsel that stray dogs have attacked women and children as a result of which the human life is in danger, the Supreme Court observed that in its earlier orders, it has already directed the State of Kerala and other authorities that they can go for culling as per the provisions of the relevant Act and Rules.
The court also directed that the response filed by the Union of India (to the module filed by the Animal Welfare Board) be served on the counsel for the all the States so that they can obtain instructions and, in the meantime, make efforts to comply with the same.
Since the court was apprised that despite the orders passed by the Court, Jose Maveli has been constantly violating the orders, the court directed that he shall remain personally present in Court on the next date of hearing. The matter will next be listed on 1 March 2017.
Read full order of the court: