Mishaps due to stray cattle: ‘Victims can approach high court directly for compensation’
The Punjab and Haryana high court has said that victim(s) of an accident caused by stray cattle can approach the high court directly for compensation. The high court bench of justice RN Raina awarded ₹20 lakh to a Bhiwani woman, even as the state had argued that the high court did not have jurisdiction to decide on compensation and she needs to approach a civil court.
Petitioner Savitri Yadav’s husband Attar Singh Yadav (60) was riding a scooter in Bhiwani’s main market on December 31,2015, when he was caught in the midst of a fight between two raging bulls. He was declared brought dead at the local civil hospital due in injuries sustained in the mishap. A legal notice sent to local authorities fell on deaf ear, after which she approached the high court in 2016.
“It’s not enough to send the aggrieved party to the civil court to prosecute a protracted litigation to find the true owner when the ingredients of award of compensation are amply available on record and satisfied in this case. If they do find the owner, they can always pass on the compensation after it is paid. The widow must be compensated for her terrible loss in her middle age when she would have needed her husband the most,” the bench of justice Raina said, adding that stray animal in the case in hand will be deemed to be in the ‘care, custody and possession’ authority who is under an obligation to round them up.
The local municipal committee had argued that the petition is not maintainable as this court has no jurisdiction as bylaws define say civil court has the jurisdiction over the area, where the petitioner should have demanded compensation from.
The petitioner woman had argued that the death occurred in a public place, in a busy market, on a municipal road in public gaze, and medical and other evidence proves her case. The petitioner had cited Haryana Municipal (Registration and Proper Control of Stray Animals) Bylaws, 2006, which provide for making payment from registration fee, challans etc for maintenance of cattle pounds and compensation to the victims in mishap involving stray cattle.
Blurb: Punjab and Haryana high court awards ₹20 lakh to a Bhiwani woman who had lost her husband even as the state argued that the high court did not have the jurisdiction to decide on compensation