Delhi HC directs police to probe types of pets in Dhobi Ghat area following child's death

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the police to investigate the types of pets kept by residents in the Dhobi Ghat area of the city’s Tuqhlaq Lane, responding to a father’s plea on the death of his 18-month-old daughter, allegedly mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in the vicinity.

Justice Subramonium Prasad has asked the police to submit a status report detailing the nature of pets in the area by March 19.

Last time, the court had issued notice on the father’s plea seeking compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the death of his daughter.

During the hearing on Thursday, the court said that it should be found out whether any pet dogs were present in nearby houses where the incident occurred.

Justice Prasad noted the importance of ruling out the possibility of a ferocious dog in the vicinity, which may have been responsible for the attack on the child.

In response to claims by an NGO seeking to be included in the case, alleging the presence of a pitbull in the area, the court expressed concern over the lack of immediate intervention despite the incident occurring during the daytime.

The judge raised questions regarding the absence of attention from nearby residents, stressing the need for further investigation into the circumstances surrounding the child’s tragic death.

Justice Prasad had earlier issued notice to the Delhi government, Delhi Police, and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). The court had expressed concern over the feeding of stray dogs, leading to territorial behaviour and posing a threat to pedestrians. It stressed the need for responsible behaviour regarding stray dog populations to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The plea seeks enforcement of laws and rules issued by the Central government to prevent tragic incidents resulting from dog bites. Additionally, it calls for the capture and treatment of violent dogs as per the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2023.

The father, hailing from an economically-marginalised community of Dhobi Ghat in the Tughlaq Lane area, alleges negligence by authorities in addressing concerns raised by him and his neighbours regarding the menace of stray animals.

Non-sterilisation and non-vaccination are cited as contributing factors to the unregulated population of stray dogs and the resulting health hazards, including the risk of rabies. The petition states the primary duty of municipal bodies is to ensure public safety by controlling stray animal populations. Despite repeated complaints, the NDMC purportedly failed to take necessary measures to address the situation, leading to the demise of the petitioner’s daughter, the plea said.

–IANS

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