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Court reunites man with his two dogs, says ‘unjustified to deprive of companionship’

A Delhi court has handed back the custody of two golden retriever dogs to their owner saying it would be “unjustified to deprive him of the companionship and custody of his pets”, which were taken away by an NGO and the city police alleging that the animals were being mistreated by their owner
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:12 PM IST

A Delhi court has handed back the custody of two golden retriever dogs to their owner saying it would be “unjustified to deprive him of the companionship and custody of his pets”, which were taken away by an NGO and the city police alleging that the animals were being mistreated by their owner.

Additional sessions judge Anil Antil passed the order after taking note of a police report about the maintenance of the dogs, Luv and Kush, at their owner’s place on Feroz Shah Road, and their veterinary doctor’s opinion.

The judge, however, directed the dogs’ owner and businessman Anand Kumar Mohatta to produce both canines before the court and the police as and when required during the ongoing proceedings. The court passed the directions on a revision petition by Mohatta, against an order of a magisterial court refusing the owner the custody of the dogs.

The dogs were taken away on January 30 by the NGO People for Animals, which accused Mohatta of animal cruelty.

The NGO said at the time of inspection, the dogs were found to be suffering from high fever with swollen eyes, and later on, after a thorough examination by a veterinary doctor, both pets were found to be suffering from Parvo virus.

The NGO claimed that the dogs were left unattended for a long time and their well-being was not being taken care of by Mohatta.

The allegations were refuted by Mohatta who said he was taking proper care of both pets and was administering them due medication after regular visits to the veterinarian.

Mohatta’s advocate said the dogs were administered the vaccinations as per the standards prescribed.

In the status reply filed by the Delhi Police, the court also noted that the premises from where the dogs were taken had a separate 400 square feet room for the pets.Mohatta had also employed a servant to look after both the dogs, the court noted

The court also took note of the ownership certificate, vaccination certificate and medical certificate of the dogs. The vet endorsed the submissions made by advocate Rana and medical documents produced on record regarding the administration of vaccine for Parvo virus, which the pets were found to be suffering from.

“In these facts and circumstances and taking note of the medical record, it would be unjustified to deprive the revisionist (Mohatta) of companionship and custody of his pets and therefore, in my considered opinion, in the interest of justice, the custody of the two pets, namely Luv and Kush, be handed over to revisionist,” the judge said in the order passed on February 25.

Both pets were released on a bond of 40,000 each.

The court asked Mohatta to file the specific report about their health and medical status report issued by their veterinary doctor twice in a month before the court, which is conducting the proceedings for alleged cruelty until the case is disposed of.

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