SHAME TO STRAY DOG SUPPORTER
READ MORE Supreme Court of India|Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act|dog bite|Animal Welfare Board
Pay relief to those bitten by dogs: Supreme Court
Every year more than one lakh incidents of stray dog bites are reported in the country and 11 people died due to rabies in the first six months in 2015.
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NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over increasing number incidents of children being bitten by stray dogs, the Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre on how to control the menace and provide free treatment and anti-rabies medicine to the victims.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said the state governments and local municipal bodies should be held accountable for not controlling stray dogs and the victims should be paid compensation by them. The court's order came on a PIL filed by Kerala-based NGO Aluva Janaseva which works for child rights.
Advocate V K Biju, appearing for the NGO, told the bench that every year more than one lakh incidents of stray dog bites are reported in the country and 11 people died due to rabies in the first six months in 2015. He said children need to be protected from stray dogs as they are easy targets.
"There have been frequent incidents of stray dogs attacking and biting school children, aged persons, pedestrians and morning walkers across the country. The increase in stray dog population in public places such as hospitals, railway stations, bus stands is causing panic to the public," he said.
Agreeing to hear the plea, the bench said the government needed to frame a policy to protect children from stray dogs. "Appreciating the submission that the children are fundamental embodiment of human race and they deserve protection from any kind of attack by the stray dogs, we are inclined to issue notice," the bench said and directed the Centre and Kerala government to file their response within four weeks.
The bench also sought response on how to implement effective vaccination and sterilization for stray dogs for controlling their population.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act allows Animal Welfare Board to take all such steps as the Board may think fit to ensure that unwanted animals are eliminated by the local authorities. Section 99(f) empowers the Board to kill stray animals either instantaneously or after being rendered insensible to pain or suffering.
The petitioner alleged that sufficient anti-rabies vaccines are not being supplied in government hospitals and the victims have to purchase the medicines from the market costing more than Rs 8000 which the poor cannot afford.
"It is a fact that lakhs of children are wandering in the streets all over India. These children were continuously under attack of dangerous stray dogs. None of the government authrities, including the Centre and state governments, is taking any step for the protection of these children. Therefore the court must intervene and direct the governments to provide free medicines and treatment at private as well government hospitals," the petitioner said. more