The Supreme Court on Thursday lifted the interim stay on the operation of the Delhi High Court order relating to the feeding of stray dogs and also stayed the same.
India’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Humane Foundation for People and Animal’s petition to overturn the Delhi high court’s June 26, 2021, order that set guidelines and rules for feeding stray dogs in Delhi, and vacated an earlier order granting an interim stay.
It was noted in court on Thursday by a number of impleaders that a result of the stay order was the creation of a hostile environment for the dogs, as well as the harassment of animal welfare organization volunteers and feeders.
Lawyers Anand Grover, Aman Lekhi and Ritin Rai appeared on behalf of intervenor Friendicoes SECA, which had also filed an application for impleadment and was represented by Ritin Rai, a senior advocate from Karanjawala & Co., a law firm.
On June 24, 2021, the Delhi High Court issued an order regarding guidelines for feeding stray dogs. As a non-profit organisation, the Humane Foundation for People and Animals aims to end the conflict between humans and animals in society.
Despite a Supreme Court order dated 18/11/2015 directing the “high courts not to pass any order relating to the 1960 Act and 2001 Rules pertaining to dogs,” the petition claims that the Delhi high court issued guidelines for feeding stray dogs that referenced “The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001” and “The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.”
“Street dogs have the right to food, and citizens have the right to feed community dogs, but care and caution should be taken to ensure that it does not infringe upon the rights of others or cause any harm,” the Delhi high court opined in a statement that emphasized the importance of educating people about the rights of animals.
It was held by the high court that the Animal Welfare Board of India, in consultation with resident welfare associations and the municipal corporation, must keep in mind that every community dog is a territorial being, and as a result, the AWBI and RWAs/municipal corporations must determine the designated area with this in mind.