The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to issue a clear directive to the state police to ensure ambulances or other vehicles ferrying pets and sick animals to and from veterinary clinics are not stopped during the lockdown. It also directed the state to clarify its stand on permitting residents across the state to take their dogs out for a walk during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown period. The High Court judgement of one state is by law applicable to all States in the Union of India unless it is explicitly set aside by another high court or the supreme court of India.
Please find below the judgement text and files for your reference and support in case your face any harassment from Police or RWA/Societies while taking your pet dogs for walk during lockdown or for vet visits.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
ADHOC NO. WP-LD-VC- 30 OF 2020
WRIT PETITION (STAMP) NO. OF
Mrs.Vineeta Tandon …Petitioner
State of Maharashtra & Ors. …Respondents
Mr.Harshvardhan Bhende with Regulus Advocates & Consultants for
Mr.Anil C. Singh, Addl.Solicitor General with Aditya Thakkar and D.P. Singh
for Respondent – Union of India.
Mr.P.P. Kakade, Government Pleader with M.M. Pabale, AGP for State.
CORAM : S.C. GUPTE, J.
DATE : 8 MAY 2020
The Petitioner is an animal welfare activist. The grievance of
the Petitioner is that as a result of the lock-down ordered by the State due
to Covid-19 pandemic, police stations under the jurisdiction of Respondent
Nos.3 and 4 have been arbitrarily stopping citizens from taking their pets,
more specifically dogs, for walks. It is submitted that police stations have
issued arbitrary directions to housing societies to stop residents from taking their dogs for walks. It is also submitted that ambulances or pet taxies operated by NOGs and others to ferry animals from their shelters or pet owners to veterinary clinics and back are being arbitrarily stopped and obstructed by the police administration. It is submitted that the police administration is refusing to issue passes for these ambulances and pet taxies.
2 Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submits that the Petitioner’s
information is that the Central Animal Welfare Board has issued directions
to State DGPs calling upon them to allow people to walk their dogs as a
measure of prevention of cruelty to animals. The directive has been
reported in the press. Learned Counsel, however, is not in a position to
produce any such directive as of now. He seeks time to produce it on the
3 Learned AGP submits that the State directives prohibit people
from walking their dogs outside compounds of societies or homes and not
from walking them within the compounds. Learned AGP also submits that
so far as ambulances or pet taxies for ferrying of sick animals to and from
veterinary clinics are concerned, the State has not asked its police
administration to stop or obstruct such ambulances or pet taxies. The
statements are noted and accepted.
4 If there is any directive issued by the Animal Welfare Board of
India to the State DGPs in the matter of walking of dogs, the State must
take an appropriate decision in that behalf and communicate the same to
the court by this next date.
5 In the meantime, the State is directed to issue a clear directive
to the police administration not to stop or obstruct ambulances or pet
taxies for ferrying sick animals to and from veterinary clinics.
6 So far as walking of dogs and petering to their needs through
animal fidders are concerned, the State to communicate its stand through
an affidavit to be filed before this court by the next date.
7 S.O. to 15 May 2020
8 This order will be digitally signed by the Private Secretary of
this Court. All concerned will act on production by fax or email of a
digitally signed copy of this order.
(S.C. GUPTE, J.)
You may download the order document here: