Not entitled to keep dogs as matter of right: Madras HC

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 19:12

Chennai: No one is entitled to keep dogs or
other animals in residential areas as a "matter of right", the
Madras High Court has ruled.

The court also observed that barking and howling of dogs
and their emitting a foul odour could be construed as "public
nuisance".
Justice S Tamilvanan gave the ruling while upholding an
order by the Coimbatore authorities to a dog owner to remove
the canines at his home on the ground that it annoyed and
inconvenienced other residents of the area. The authorities
had served the order following a complaint from some of the
residents.

"It was not in dispute that unbearable noise or foul
smell can be an annoyance and hence a public nuisance," the
judge said, adding that keeping dogs in a residential area
spreads a foul smell that is injurious to public health.

"No one is entitled to keep dogs or other animals in
residential areas as a matter of right," the judge said,
adding, "Noise pollution and emitting foul smell by keeping
dogs is no way a lesser hazard than a factory creating noise
pollution."
The judge said, "It has been established in the present
case that the barking and howling of the dogs has caused
inconvenience and annoyance to the complainants," Justice
Tamilvanan said.

The court dismissed the review petiton filed by D
Vikram, a resident of Coimbatore, challenging the order by the
authorities concerned to direct him to `remove forthwith his
dogs` following a complaint. The court gave its verdict last
week.

At least three residents had complained to Sub-divisional
Magistrate/Revenue District Officer that Vikram`s dogs, about
30 in number, kept barking and howling at nights, besides
emitting a foul smell.

Vikram contended that the Coimbatore authorities had
failed to note that the complainants had an animosity towards
him due to his success in competitions conducted by the kennel
club.

The Judge, in his order passed last week, pointed out
that it was the duty of the respective district authorities
and municipal administration to regulate and remove the
nuisance in public interest.
The neighbours in their complaint claimed that the dog
owner was violating Section 352 of the Coimbatore City
Municipal Corporation Act.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 19:12

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