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Citizens have right to feed stray dogs : Supreme Court

Socio Legal Corp

In a case titled Human Foundation for People and Animals vs Animal Welfare Board of India and others, the Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a stay on the implementation of a Delhi High Court ruling holding that citizens have the right to feed street dogs and issuing directions on how to do so.

The stay order issued on March 4, 2022, by a division bench consisting of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose was vacated by a three-judge bench consisting of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

The Humane Foundation for People and Animals filed an SLP contesting the Delhi High Court judgement of June 24, 2021.

The NGO argued that the High Court judgement is based on false, irrelevant, and factually wrong assertions, as well as disinformation issues surrounding stray dogs and current regulations.

It was feared that the High Court’s orders would aggravate the stray dog problem. An application for permission to file SLP was also submitted because the NGO was not a party to the lawsuit.

The High Court’s directives came in a civil matter between two parties, according to the three-judge bench, and the suit has now been concluded.

As a result, the applicant argued, the NGO, which is not a party to the complaint, has no standing to contest it.

The Court has mandated that AWBI conduct an awareness campaign in collaboration with various newspapers, television, radio stations, and social media platforms, recognising the necessity to raise awareness that even animals have a right to live in dignity.

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