ANI Photo | HC notice to Delhi government, NDMC on plea by father of toddler mauled by stray dogs

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Police on a plea moved by father of an 18-month-old girl, who died after being attacked by a pack of stray dogs in the national capital.
The father of the girl, in his petition, sought directions to the Delhi government and other authorities to grant/sanction compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the loss suffered by him due to the death of his daughter.
The plea also sought direction to Delhi Police to conduct a fair and proper investigation and to collect the complete evidence including but not limited to the CCTV recording in the requisite area and statements of all concerned, including that of the security guards deployed.
Noting the submissions, the bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad on Monday sought responses of all respondents who have been asked to explain what steps have been taken to ensure that such incidents do not recurr.
The court fixed March 13 for a detailed hearing in the matter.
During the hearing, the bench observed that in this area people come in vans and feed the stray dogs, which is why they become territorial and create trouble for pedestrians. That’s why these dogs are not going anywhere in search of food and feeding stray dogs is something people need to look at.
The plea raised a question on public safety and the conduct of the concerned authorities, especially the New Delhi Municipal Corporation whose primary and mandatory duty is to keep the city and municipality limits clean, free and to remove insanitation, nuisance etc. including the nuisance by the violent and aggressive dogs.
It said the incident occurred due to the negligence and the lapse on the part of the respondents as they have the primary, mandatory and obligatory duty to keep the city safe and to remove unsanitary conditions and nuisance.
It further stated that due to the negligence and administrative lapse on part of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, a frightful incident has happened in which 18 months-old daughter of the petitioner was brutally attacked, dragged to a secluded place and mauled by a pack of violent and aggressive dogs.
“It is the duty of the State to save and protect the lives of the people as per Article 21 of the Constitution. Such negligent and administrative lapse on the part of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation has violated the fundamental rights of the deceased child and petitioner, enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the petition said.
It said that the petitioner is a resident of Dhobi Ghat, Tuglak Lane, New Delhi and belongs to the economically marginalized section.
The plea noted that the Tuglak Lane area, where the tragic incident happened, is highly secured and covered by CCTV cameras, as senior bureaucrats and politicians are allotted government accommodations in that area. It said the area is also patrolled on a regular basis and officials are deployed for the safety and the wellbeing of the residents of the area.
The petitioner said that he and the other residents have raised their voices in the past and have pointed out the increase in the number of incidents/attacks by violent and aggressive dogs upon innocent children and the elderly.
The concerned authorities have in the past ignored the concerns being raised by the petitioner and the neighbours and have failed to keep the public streets free and safe from the menace of stray animals, particularly the mad, aggressive and violent dogs.
The plea further submitted that there are studies that prove that stray dogs suffering from medical conditions such as liver and kidney disease, eye problems, and diseases that affect their bones and skin become aggressive and uncontrollable. One of the major reasons for dog menace is non-sterilization, which is the reason for their unregulated population, it said.
Further non-vaccination of these dogs is another reason that causes serious ramifications due to dog bites which can lead to serious health hazards such as rabies. Keeping the public streets free and safe from the menace of stray animals, particularly the violent and mad dogs is the primary duty of the municipal body of a locality.
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation, despite repeated complaints, have not taken the requisite and necessary steps to control the situation by capturing and treating the aggressive and violent dogs, which has resulted in the present incident.
The civic agencies have failed to create a dog shelter and are inactive in tackling the menace caused by the dogs, the plea said.
The court, through various judicial pronouncements, has issued directions to create dog shelters and to sterilize the dogs where they can be kept and fed

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