GURUGRAM: Animal rights activists Anjali Gopalan and Chetna Joshi have served a legal notice to MCG, for its policy mandating registration of pet dogs and killing of strays within municipal limits.
The legal notice focuses on clauses under Section 311 of Haryana Municipal Corporation (HMC) Act, 1994, which state a municipal corporation has power to “destroy” dogs found on streets which are not distinguishable as private property, or has strayed outside its owner’s home/land.
“A Supreme Court order from 2015 restricts corporations from implementing any existing acts, rules and regulations, or even passing new acts, rules and regulations, wherein the concerned subject matter is ‘stray dogs’,” said Joshi. She added the Apex court had further said any such order would be contempt of court.
“As per an SC order, in the case Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) vs Pest (SLP Civil 691 of 2009), the Supreme Court, vide order dated November 18, 2015, has directed all local authorities and panchayats to strictly follow Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, and not to come up with “subterfuge or innovative methods” to circumvent the SC order,” reads the notice served by the activists.
The activists are in the process of serving another notice within this week, regarding registration of pet dogs. MCG has also received a letter from eminent advocate Prashant Bhushan, in which he has reiterated that clauses under Section 311 of HMC Act are “blatantly unconstitutional and repugnant of central act and rules which govern destruction of stray dogs”.
The letter further states the governing law in this regard is PCA and Animal Birth Control Act, 2001, and that the 2009 case is still sub-judice in the Supreme Court.
TOI had earlier reported that pet owners in the city will now have to get a license from MCG after the corporation started implementing a clause in the Municipal Act that was left dormant for almost a decade. MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav said he has not yet seen the notice.
Regarding strays, he said, “We don’t disturb strays unless we receive a complaint. However, if a dog is deemed dangerous, we have to deal with it under legal procedures.”