How to compensate dog bite victims? SC asks govt

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to state the criteria for granting compensation to dog bite victims, especially when someone bitten dies.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016, 20:01 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to state the criteria for granting compensation to dog bite victims, especially when someone bitten dies.

"Which forum should the victim go to seek compensation in the dog bite cases, especially in case of death? What are the criteria for grant of such compensation from Chief Minister Relief Fund," a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked.

The bench's observation came during the hearing of a petition filed by one Jos Sebastian whose wife, a MNREGA worker, was killed after she was bit by a stray dog.

Advocate VK Biju, appearing for the petitioner, sought a direction to the concerned authorities for grant of appropriate compensation to the victim.

The bench, also comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, posted the matter for further hearing on April 5.

The apex court, had on March 9, asked states and civic bodies to take steps to sterilise and vaccinate nuisance- causing stray dogs under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Senior advocate Dushyanat Dave, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, had said that balance needs to be created as there were instances of death due to dog bites.

Dave had said he was yet to come across news where animal-loving NGOs have come forward to help victims of dog bites and hence, the need of the hour is to strike a balance.

The apex court is hearing a batch of appeals, including those filed by Animal Welfare Board and dog lovers, against the decisions of some high courts including the Bombay High Court and Kerala High Court to allow municipal authorities to deal with the stray dogs menace.

Earlier, the court had said the local authorities have a "sacrosanct duty to provide sufficient number of dog pounds, including animal kennels/shelters" which may be managed by the animal welfare organisations.

Animal Welfare Board of India, in its plea, has sought that the central law, which mandates birth control of street dogs through strict implementation of the Animal Birth Control Dogs Rules, be followed.

The apex court had earlier declined to pass an interim order to stay culling of stray dogs by Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation on a PIL by advocate Anupam Tripathi, saying the killing of dangerous dogs and those inflicted with rabies should be guided by the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.