Cannot use premises to cause nuisance to neighbours: HC

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 14, 2016 01:04 IST
The Bombay high court

A person cannot use his premises in such a manner as to cause nuisance to his neighbours, the Bombay high court said on Tuesday, while upholding an interim order of the Bombay city civil court restraining an animal lover from Worli from feeding water and grains to birds from her balcony window, as it caused nuisance to neighbours.

“Nobody can have a grievance about the love of the Defendant No. 2 for birds and animals,” said justice RM Sawant, while rejecting an appeal filed by Jeegisha Thakore challenging the city civil court order.

“Howsoever much one may want to feed birds and animals, the same would obviously have to be done in a manner as not to cause nuisance to the neighbours or other residents,” the judge added. 

Thakore, an animal welfare activist and honorary secretary of All India Animal Welfare Association, resides in Venus Appartment on RG Thadani Marg at Worli.

Dilip Shah, who stays in the same building, had approached the city civil court in 2011 complaining that Thakores, who reside in a flat above his, had kept a metal tray on a platform erected in their balcony for feeding water, food grains and other food articles to birds, because of which nuisance was being caused to them and other residents of the building. 

Shah alleged that though on his complaints their co-operative housing society passed a resolution restraining members from feeding birds from their balconies, Thakore continued to feed the birds. Complaining that the feeding attracted large number of birds because of which not only hygiene was compromised, but it also aggravated his wife’s allergy, Shah had sought interim restraint on the feeding of the birds. 

Thakore responded to a plea contending that though she had been feeding birds for over a decade, the complaint was being lodged only after business relations between the two neighbours soured. 

On September 27, 2013, the city civil court issued the interim order restraining Thakore from feeding birds from her balcony. The city civil court observed that the sum total of the material on record made it clear that there was nuisance to the members of the society on account of the bird feeding and it also created problems of hygiene because of bird droppings and spilling of water and grains in windows and balconies of flats on lower floors. 

The trial court granted injunction noting that if the animal welfare activist was not prevented from feeding the birds from her balcony, “the nuisance would continue to be caused to the plaintiffs and other members of the society and may give rise to health problems.” 

The high court upheld the trial court order noting that in the instant case, there was enough material to indicate that on account of the bird feeding, nuisance was caused to other members of the society.

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