dogsThe Mumbai High Court held that apart from putting down stray dogs that are incurably ill, mortally wounded, rabid, or perennially violent, the municipal commissioner could use his discretion to order the killing of a dog that is causing a ‘public nuisance’. One of the justice however disagreed upon the discretional powers to be handed over to a bureaucrat while the other two held that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, both confer powers upon the commissioner to exercise discretion in ordering the killing of dogs found to be a source of ‘nuisance’. The opinion of the two judges prevailed as the majority judgement. In 1999, the high court had restrained local bodies from killing stray dogs and ordered sterilisation drives to control their population. The matter concerning the fate of stray dogs was referred to the full bench in 2004 after a division bench in Goa favoured the killing of stray dogs. However, several NGOs are calling this decision of the court as “barbaric and inhuman”. Meanwhile, the civic authorities will continue with the sterilisation drives to control the population of stray dogs in the city. Bureau report – NMTV

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