Kochi | March 03, 2006 9:39:11 PM IST
The Kerala Hight Court today declined to interfere in the order of the Panchayat Raj Ombudsman directing local bodies to take steps for culling stray dogs on a war-footing.
Dismissing a writ petition filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and Daya, a society registered for the prevention of cruelty to animals, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice V K Bali and Justice J B Koshy said the right to live as enshrined under Article 21 was a fundamental right and it would take precedence over the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal and Birth Control of Dogs Rules 2002.
The contention of the petitioners was a Division Bench of the high court had earlier ordered vaccination of stray dogs to control their menace and therefore the direction of the ombudsman could not be effected.
Rejecting this argument, the court said the judgement of the earlier Division Bench was without considering the validity of dog rules in the light of the provisions of the Animals Act 1960.
The Animals Act provides for eliminating dangerous aniumals and stray dogs and going by the provision of the act, it was apparent that there has to be more concern with the life of human beings than stray dogs.
The court also added that it was rather strange that the petitioner wanted dogs suffering from diseases such as rabies to be protected at the cost of invaluable human lives. The court dismissed the petition holding there was no merit in the contentions.