Karnataka High Court has said that municipal authorities have the vested public duty and/or statutory duty to safeguard the citizens residing in the area from street dog attacks.
A single-judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj sitting at Dharwad made the observations while hearing a petition filed by a mason, Yusub, who lost his 22 months old son to an attack by stray dogs back in 2018, said a report on Live Law.
The judge observed: “There is a public duty and/or statutory duty vested with the municipal authorities to safeguard the citizens residing in the area from attack of street dogs.”
The court also granted the plaintiff compensation to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh, payable by the Zilla Panchayat. It also awarded Rs. 20,000 litigation expense, the report added.
The court issued directions to carry out sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs on a regular basis and by holding additional camps for such purpose at the initiative of the Zilla Panchayath, Taluk Panchayat, or Village Panchayat.
The order also told Zilla Panchayath, Taluk Panchayat, or Village Panchayat, as the case may be, to frame guidelines for the grant of compensation to the victims of attacks by the stray dogs.
The court also reminded citizens to bear in mind that street dogs also have a right to live and therefore, must refrain from attacking these dogs by stone Throwing or by beating, etc. They must ensure that children do not go near the stray dogs either to play with them or to feed them, it said.
Further, the court said that the owners of dogs ensure that their pet dogs are not a menace or cause nuisance in public places. “It would be mandatory for the owners of the dogs to take out their dogs on public roads or public places along with a leash and not let their dogs loose on the streets, so as to avoid a confrontation with street dogs or other pet dogs,” it said.
(With inputs from Live Law)