The Bombay High Court stated that it resolved the issue of strays in the premises of the court by feeding them. ‘Nobody can tell a dog or a tiger what its territorial limits are, they don’t know your boundaries of Seawoods Estate.’
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale has asked for a list volunteers from the Seawood Estates Limited in Navi Mumbai, who feed stray dogs inside the complex, and ready to take their care and bear all the costs for their feeding, vaccination, sterilisation and also for the maintaining the area clean where the dogs are fed.
The HC was hearing a contempt petition filed by the Seawood Estates Limited (SEL) against seven residents who feed stray dogs regularly at places other than the designated areas near the three society gates. The HC had, earlier, directed these animal lovers to feed dogs at the designated places, which is not being followed. Hence the society has filed a contempt petition.
The bench noted that a viable solution has to be worked out to achieve the twin objective of maintaining interest of the residents of the complex and of taking care of the dogs.
“Problem cannot be solved by waving a magic wand. We have to ensure twin objectives are achieved. Interest of the residents of society has to be ensured. They must be protected from attack (from dogs). There is a method of doing it by taking care of dogs,” said Justice Patel.
However, the court clarified that taking care of the dogs would come with inherent obligations which will have to be fulfilled by the residents who want to feed them.
Because you can’t say, we will feed the dogs wherever we feel. That cannot be done,” said Justice Patel. He added: “The costs are also important but other residents are not required to bear it. You do it on your own.”
HC asked the residents to give a list of the volunteers willing to “commit to these obligations” and bear the costs. “This includes cost of cleaning, vaccinations, sterilisation, collaring, tagging and neutering if required. You are right that somebody has to take care of them, but not like this..this obligation is for an indefinite time,” said the justice.
The counsel for the Cidco informed the court that they had given an adjoining two acres of plot of the estate on a care taker basis. The bench suggested that this plot can be beautified and be used as a feeding spot for the dogs.
The bench has asked the Cidco to submit a contract which it signed with the SEL saying: “We need to see the precise document under which the land was given on caretaker basis to SEL. And what Cidco proposes at present.”
Story Update By: Ms. Sai Sushmitha, Correspondent at Lawgic
Edited By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content-Head at Lawgic