HC rejects plea against stray animals


Chennai: When a Chennaiite recently moved a PIL before the Madras high court seeking direction to the city corporation to remove the loitering animals and to punish their owners, many citizens felt thrilled that now their roads would be safe; for, there have been several mishaps, some of them fatal, due to such stray cattle and dogs on the streets.
But on Monday, the Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal disposed of the PIL satisfied with the corporation’s assertion it was taking “all measures to control stray dogs, cattle and pigs in all the zones” and that stray incidents might happen during night hours “due to unavoidable circumstances”.
“We would have been happy if the court had directed the corporation and other appropriate government agencies to enforce the law against animals loitering dangerously on the roads. In the PIL, our main prayer was to ensure that all animals carried visible identification marks so as to locate their owners in case some citizen came to grief due to an animal and wished to claim compensation”, said noted lawyer A Kumaraguru, who had argued for the PIL petitioner K Chandra Sekaran, a social activist in Nanganallur.
“Some corporation officials privately admitted to me there had not been any effort to ensure all domestic animals carry identification marks”, he added. Sekaran’s PIL stemmed from a personal tragedy. On October 8 last year, his wife Subha was returning home after dropping their little son at a nearby tuition centre when a cow suddenly charged at her. 
“The animal lifted her with her horns and flung her, tearing her stomach. She needed 20 sutures on her abdomen in an emergency surgery and spent several days in ICU. We did not want anyone else to go through such a horrible experience and so I filed the PIL”, Sekaran told DC.
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