The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether a dog-bite victim is entitled to monetary compensation from the government.
“Which forum should the victim go to seek compensation in the dog bite cases, especially in case of death? We need to also lay down the criteria for grant of such compensation and the authority to look into such claims should be fixed,” a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra.
It will on April 5 take up the application of Kerala-based Jos Sebastian whose wife, a MNREGA worker, was killed after she was bit by a stray dog.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate VK Biju, argued that it was the State’s responsibility to look after its citizens. He complained there was no department to look into the grievances of a dog bite victim.
Kerala state counsel offered to grant compensation to Sebastian from the chief minister’s relief fund. “He can move the human rights commission for monetary claim,” the advocate told the bench, which was not convinced with the state’s explanation.
SC had on March 9 asked states and civic bodies to take steps to sterilise and vaccinate nuisance-causing stray dogs under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, had said that balance needs to be created as there were instances of death due to dog bites. Dave had said he was yet to come across news where animal-loving NGOs have come forward to help victims of dog bites and hence, the need of the hour is to strike a balance.