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Supreme Court Paves Way to Feed Stray Dogs in Colonies
Several animal welfare organisations told the apex court, saying that pursuant to the stay imposed by the top court on March 4, animal lovers were being restrained from providing food and water to stray dogs. (Picture for representation only/HT Archive)

Supreme Court Paves Way to Feed Stray Dogs in Colonies

Supreme Court has upheld a previous order by Delhi High Court, which allows residents to feed stray dogs in the residential areas. The top court vacated its stay order on the Delhi High Court judgment of 2021. The judgment stated that stray dogs have the right to food with citizens who also have the right to feed them. The court had ordered a stay-on order on March 4, citing that the order may increase the stray dog menace.

A bench comprising Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia, S Ravindra Bhat, and Uday Umesh Lalit noted that their earlier stay had come from a petition filed by the Humane Foundation for People and Animals. The organization challenged the High Court’s order, even though it was not a party to the case’s proceedings.

The Supreme Court stated that since the original parties resolved their dispute filed by the NGO had no locus to intervene in subsequent proceedings.

“The petition was filed seeking permission to file the appeal as the NGO (Human Foundation for People and Animals) was not a party to the suit. It is understood that the parties to the said suit settled the matter. Since the matter dealt with controversies between two private parties, the applicant seeking permission to file SLP has no locus (standi). We, therefore dispose of the petition and vacate the interim order…,” the bench ordered.

The previous High Order mentioned that any person who has compassion for stray dogs could feed them in their private driveways or entrances of their houses. It can also be any place not shared by other residents. However, no one can restrict the other from feeding dogs unless it causes harm or harassment to them.

The initial dispute was between the two residents of the same locality. The issue was about feeding the dogs in their colony. One of them had sought direction to restrain the other from feeding street dogs near the property’s entrance. Later, a settlement took place between the two, and a designated place was fixed for feeding the canines.

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