In Defence of Animals has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against a recent Bombay High Court judgment that civic authorities could kill stray dogs that are a nuisance.
The apex court will decide on Friday whether to admit the appeal alongside similar appeals by the Centre and Animal Welfare Board of India. The Viniyog Parivar Trust and Welfare of Stray Dogs are also filing appeals this week.
The appeals are against a ruling by the Bombay High Court in December that canines in Mumbai that were a nuisance, rabid, mortally ill, or violent may be killed by a municipal commissioner.
Until then fate of the city’s stray dogs had been subject to a 1998 high court judgment, which had ruled that only rabid, critically ill or violent dogs in the city could be put to sleep.
In Defence of Animals advocate Rahul Thakar said they were requesting the word "nuisance" be deleted from the judgment.
“It’s open to misuse,” he said. “Because any person can say a dog is a nuisance and they want it killed and it will be up to government officers, who we can’t trust to decide.”
He added that was also asking the Supreme Court to rule on whether central government laws such as the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules 2001 should not have precedence over municipal laws.
These rules state that stray dogs can be killed only if they are rabied , terminally ill or mortally wounded, while Article 51 of the Constitution of India says citizens have a fundamental duty to show compassion to all living creatures.