A division bench of the Bombay high court has asked the state if there is a cap on the number of dogs one is allowed to keep as pets. The HC's query came while hearing a petition filed by an animal-lover who has taken in 12 stray dogs at her Andheri apartment and has now moved the court against some local residents who allegedly harassed her and assaulted her dogs.
The complainant Durga Rai, who appeared in-person, told the court that the Megh Wadi police were not taking action against the secretary of the housing society and other residents despite several complaints being lodged by her.
She also asked the court to restrain the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officers and members of Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals from entering her house and harassing her and her 85-year-old mother. Rai also demanded action against them for trespassing.
A division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice RG Ketkar, on Friday, appointed advocate Ahmed Abdi as amicus curie (friend of court) to assist the court in the matter.
Rai alleged that she had adopted the dozen dogs to save them from her society members who intended to kill them. The petition also states that it was in fact, the general body of the society that decided that Rai should take care of the dogs.
Rai stated that the police should have taken note of her complaints and acted against the culprits under IPC and the Animal Protection Act. “Is there any restriction on the number of dogs you can keep,” the court asked the state.
The court, however, asked Rai not to make this an emotive appeal since the case had to be decided strictly by law. Rai has been taking care of the dogs since 2005, and as per her claims, has been filing complaints with the police since then. She also alleged that around 15 dogs had been killed since 2005. The court has adjourned hearing on the matter till December 23.