Kuljit Singh Bedi v State of Punjab and others
Punjab And Haryana High Court
31 October 2012
Civil W.P. No. 9902 of 2012 (O & M)
The Judgment was delivered by : A. K. Sikri, J.
1. The petitioner wants this court to issue a writ of mandamus thereby directing the respondents to take appropriate measures to tackle the rising stray dog menace in the States of Punjab, Haryana as well as Union Territory of Chandigarh. The petitioner had also earlier approached this Court by way of CWP No.3653 of 2012, in the nature of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for the same relief in which orders dated 27.2.2012 were passed observing that the municipal authorities would take all necessary steps to control this menace. The grievance of the petitioner, however, is that after the said order and despite representation made by him, no steps are taken by the respondent-authorities which has forced him to file present petition, again as PIL. As per the petitioner, provisions of S. 11(3)(b) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (hereinafter to be referred to "PCA Act") are available to the respondents to take effective steps and action to tackle the menace. 2. The petitioner is a former Municipal Councillor, Mohali (Punjab) and claims himself to be a public-spirited person. He claims that he has taken various issues relating to the welfare of the public of Mohali at various foras including this High Court for their logical redressal and had earlier also filed writ petitions pertaining to enhancement of water supply capacity to Mohali. In the present petition, he has highlighted that in the recent past, it has been seen that stray dogs in the States of Punjab, Haryana and also Union Territory of Chandigarh have created a terror and are endangering human lives of all age groups resulting into injuries/deaths of innocent people who fall prey to these stray dogs. Some of the news items, depicting the fright/terror created by the stray dogs, are attached with the petition. News-item appearing in the Hindustan Times dated 4.2.2012 (P-1), inter alia, reports the menace and the helplessness on the part of the State of Punjab to tackle the same. This report indicates that State of Punjab has no funds to arrange for the sterilisation of the dogs across the State and killing could be an alternative. However, the Government is at a loss as to under what provisions these stray dogs can be killed. 3. In the news item which appeared in The Tribune dated 11.2.2012 (P-2), it is mentioned that at least 10 dog bite cases are reported from Doaba cities daily. However, the authorities have no effective plans in place to check the menace. Worse still, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nakodar and other Government hospitals in the Doaba belt have no stock of the anti-rabies vaccine and patients are forced to turn to private suppliers. It is also stated that civil authorities in these cities have failed to find a solution to the stray dog menace, which is getting beyond their control. Moreover, nobody wants to touch them for fear of animal rights organisations. About Jalandhar, in particular, it is stated that there is hardly any locality in the city which has remained unaffected by stray dogs. The city has even more than 3000 such dogs. 4. On issuing notice of motion, States of Punjab and Haryana have filed their affidavits. Affidavits are also filed by the Municipal Corporations of Mohali, Panchkula and Chandigarh. Director, Health Services (Training), O/o Director General Health Services, Haryana, has also filed affidavit indicating the action taken. Respondent No.5, namely, Directorate, Animal Husbandry & Dairying Department, Haryana, has filed separate written statement. 5. None of these respondents have denied the prevalence of stray dog menace. It is further stated that meetings are being held to attend to this menace and take appropriate measures to curb the same. The State Governments have also mentioned that primary responsibility is that of municipal...
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