HC orders removal of stray dogs from areas near judges’ houses in Ambala - Hindustan Times
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HC orders removal of stray dogs from areas near judges’ houses in Ambala

By, Chandigarh
Oct 14, 2023 08:38 AM IST

The HC bench of justice Arvind Sangwan passed the order while taking note of a letter sent by Ambala district and sessions judge, complaining about the stray dog menace and the apathy on part of the authorities in controlling it

The Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) has ordered the removal of stray dogs from areas near the residences of Ambala judicial officers and their relocation to the outskirts.

The district and sessions judge had forwarded the complaint from his colleague, Phalit Sharma, additional district and sessions judge, Ambala. (HT File)
The district and sessions judge had forwarded the complaint from his colleague, Phalit Sharma, additional district and sessions judge, Ambala. (HT File)

The HC bench of justice Arvind Sangwan passed the order while taking note of a letter sent by Ambala district and sessions judge, complaining about the stray dog menace and the apathy on part of the authorities in controlling it.

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Interestingly, stray dogs are protected under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and rules enacted under Section 38 of the Act, particularly, the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2023, makes it illegal for an individual, RWA or estate management to remove or relocate dogs. Various Supreme Court (SC) judgments have also held that relocation of stray dogs is not permitted.

“… the aforesaid action (steps listed by the Haryana government counsel) is not an effective and immediate relief to the judicial officers, who are facing the eminent danger of stray dogs as they are even unable to go for morning or evening walks. Therefore, the deputy commissioner, Ambala, is directed to immediately look into the matter and remove the stray dogs from areas close to the judicial complex, where the residences of the judicial officers are situated, and rehabilitate the dogs to the outskirts of the city,” the bench of justice Sangwan ordered.

The letter written by the district and sessions judge was taken up in a contempt plea in which the HC is monitoring steps taken to deal with the menace in two states and Chandigarh. The letter was written on the administrative side, however, the HC took judicial note of it. The hearing in this case was to take place in November but was preponed in view of this letter.

The district and sessions judge had forwarded the complaint from his colleague, Phalit Sharma, additional district and sessions judge, Ambala.

‘….after shifting to the allotted house, since the undersigned got oneself saved from stray dogs’ attack twice and the official staff also faced the same attack and even general public at large, including people moving on two-wheelers, are commonly experiencing such a horrifying experience,” the letter read stating that the Ambala deputy commissioner and municipal commissioner were apprised of the problem but unfortunately, no concrete actions have been taken.

“I am feeling unsafe because of the total defiance mood of local authorities concerned against repeated directions of Hon’ble High Court to check this menace and also despite state of Haryana, of which Ambala administration is also part, is already facing contempt proceedings pending adjudication before Hon’ble High court on this issue,” the letter further read.

The Haryana government counsel had told the court that in September, e-tenders for the sterilisation and vaccination of the stray dogs in Ambala have been invited. However, the court remained dissatisfied.

The court also sought action taken reports from Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh by October 31.

Earlier, Chandigarh MC counsel had told court that bylaws have been framed and it has been put to the House for approval. The court was also apprised that the Chandigarh MC proposes to ban registration of six breeds, i.e. American Bull Dog, American Pitbull, Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Rottweiler in residential area in any manner.

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