Circular issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, stating the lawful and unlawful aspects of dealing with Pet Dogs and Street Dogs

News Report on the 20th February 2014 dated Circular issued by Animal Welfare Board of India

News Report on the 20th February 2014 dated Circular issued by Animal Welfare Board of India

The Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India has come out with a revised Circular dated 20th February 2014, that clearly states what is lawful and unlawful with regard to the treatment of street dogs and pet dogs, by residents as well as Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), Apartment Owners’ Associations, Cooperative Group Housing Societies etc.

Why is this circular important and how should you be using it? 

  • This circular assumes importance because everyday, we as well as the Board receives numerous complaints from pet dog owners and street dog caretakers about the RWAs either putting restrictions on them for having pets, use of lifts or by pets or harassing street dog caretakers and/or attempting to harm/dislocate street dogs.
  • So, now with this Circular in your hand, the next time you, being a pet owner or a street animal caretaker, face an unruly RWA with misplaced intent of harassing you or the animals you care for, please argue your case and educate your RWA representatives by sharing this Circular and its contents with them.
  • The law is on the side of you and your dogs, so please do not succumb to any pressure or harassment and let go of your dogs.
  • The same circular, if required for may also be extrapolated for street cats and pet cats, though there is no Government run programme yet for Sterilization of Stray cats; but then Cats also have as much of a right as Street Dogs to live on the streets where they are born and belong.
  • Download this Circular by clicking here and keep a print out of the same handy with you.

AWBI Circular dated 20 Feb 2014_Page 1 AWBI Circular dated 20 Feb 2014_Page 2

The full text of the Circular is shared below:

Dated: 20th February 2014

TO WHOMSOEVER THIS MAY CONCERN

SUBJECT: PET DOGS AND STREET DOGS –THE ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA’S REVISED CIRCULAR

This Circular is being issued in place of an earlier Circular on this subject dated, 1st February 2014. It seeks to supplement what was earlier issued and to add to it; and the circular of 1st February 2014 stands hereby withdrawn.

The Board is acting in response to several requests received, to lend clarity and provide answers to recurring vexed questions. What I state below, is based on inputs received from the Board’s legal members and lawyers, on the correct position in law with regard to various aspects concerning pet dogs and street dogs.

The issuance of this circular has also been necessitated because it is well known that in recent times, RWA’s, Apartment owners’ association cooperative group housing societies and other gated complexes have taken to imposing many unreasonable restriction on pet owning resident such as disallowing the use of lifts or park by pets or even banning pets altogether. They’re also known to frequently encourage mistreatment, dislocation and dumping of street dogs. Moreover, compassionate persons that wish to tend to and feed street dog are often discouraged, and pressurized to refrain from doing so. There is widespread resentment against these moves, which apart from being unreasonable, are also unlawful and against recent court rulings.

As an RWA or an apartment owners’ association group housing society, gated complex, etc. you may often be getting complaints regarding street dogs, and requests that they be driven away, through beating by security guards or otherwise, or just dumped elsewhere. If you accede to these requests, you will not only be violating laws and pronouncements of courts, but also, you will not achieve any permanent solution either. The problem will become perennial; and you will also run afoul of animal welfare people that are increasing in number by the day, and banding themselves into well organized groups.

Set out below. Are some Dos, and Don’ts, with respect to PET DOGS & STREET DOGS

  1. WITH RESPECT TO PET DOGS & PET OWNING RESIDENTS: what you (i.e. the RWA/residents) CANNOT do:-

 BANNING pets, whether allowed:        

a)      Even by obtaining consensus, or even if the majority of the residents want it. You cannot legally introduce any sort of ‘ban’ on the keeping of pet dogs by resident/s. You cannot insist that ‘small sized’ dog is acceptable, and ‘large sized’ dogs are not. You cannot cite dog barking as a valid and compelling reason for any ban sought to be introduced by you.

b)      Even by amending bye-laws or regulation or otherwise such a ‘ban’ cannot be put into place since it is illegal, and does not have the sanction of law in fact, in trying to ’ban” pets or limit their number, you interfere with a fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens of India i.e. the freedom to choose the life they wish to live, which includes facets such as living with or without companion animal.

c)      If the resident that have pets are not violating any municipal or other laws, you cannot object. The general body cannot frame or amend bye-laws that are at variance with the laws of the country. Even by a complete majority, a general body cannot adopt an illegality. Please remember, you, as an RWA, do not have the right to legislate and ‘lay ‘ down for residents, and apartment owners or even tenants.

d)      Use of LIFTS by pets: There are court rulings to the effect that pets cannot be disallowed  from the use of lifts; and no charge can be imposed either, by housing societies for the use of lifts by pets. One court is in fact known  to have  observed that dogs are family, and can use lifts by pets for free please ensure that this sort of restriction is not therefore imposed- neither a ban, nor any special charges for the use of lifts by pets.

e)      Use of PARK by pets:  Banning pets from garden from park is short-sighted. Firstly, you may or may not own the garden or park in question. Pets that are not properly exercised may show aggression in frustration; and that surely, cannot contribute to the benefit of the residents. It may be better to fix timing when pets can be walked without inconvenience to other residents. These timings can then be intimated to the general body.

f)       Use of leashes/muzzles by pet owners, defecation by pets in community premises, imposition of fines and other similar measure: You can request pet owners to keep their pets in leash, when walking them in common areas. You cannot however insist on the use of muzzles. Please remember, the law already provides the penalties for negligent pet owners, which the aggrieved parties can avail of.

g)      In the absence of central or state laws requiring cleaning of pet excreta by pet owners, you cannot impose any rule, regulation or bye –law, with respect to mandatory cleaning of the same, or impose special charges or fines on pet owners. You can, of course, request them to do so.

h)      You can also experiment with the creation of various pet defecation areas within community premises. These can be imaginatively spaced out within the precincts, and you can request pet owners to train their pet into using the same. You cannot however impose fines and special charges of any kind of pet owners, because there is no mandate in law for the same.

i)       Intimidation:  Lastly, please also always bear in mind that if any association succeeds in intimidating a pet owner into ‘giving up’ or’ abandoning’ a pet, it will actually have abetted violation of law; and may well be aggravating the menace of ownerless animal on the street, that are not accustomed to living on street and therefore get involved in the lead to accidents, injuries and deaths. Please also bear in mind that intimidation is an offence in law.

  1. WITH RESPECT TO STREET DOGS: what you (i.e. the RWA/residents) CANNOT do:

a)      Beating and driving away street dogs, is NOT ALLOWED; Animal Birth Control and release back into same locality/territory, is ALLOWED: As per Indian law street dogs (i. e. stray dogs) cannot be beaten or driven away or dumped elsewhere or killed. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, vaccinated and then returned back to their original locations. For the area-wise sterilization program that the law mandates shall be followed, dogs have to be returned back to their original habitat after sterilization and immunization.

b)      The rationale behind release back of street dogs into the same locality/territory after sterilization and vaccination: Dogs, being territorial in nature, tend to fight off other dogs. And keep them from entering their territories; and in the manner, the dog population in each territory/ within each locale stabilizes.

c)      Street dog feeding, whether inside or outside community premises and gated complexes: there is no law that prohibits the feeding of street animal. Citizen who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast  upon them by the Constitution of India – of showing compassion to all living creatures Various Court including High Courts have upheld street dog feeding since the same reduces human – animal  conflict and suspicion, and facilitates animal birth control (by making dog catching easier).

d)      Animal cruelty:  please also note, animal cruelty is an offence – under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, and Section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code – punishable with imprisonment and fine.

e)      Intimidation: Attempts to interfere with, or harass persons who choose to tend to and feed community dogs maybe tantamount to the very grave offence criminal intimidation.

f)       Aggression to dogs counter productive: Last but not the least; any aggression or hostility that the dogs may be subjected to will only render them aggressive, and hostile to humans. They may then resort to snapping and biting in self defence. If the same happens, the human aggressors shall be the only to blame.

Please bear in mind that the Board (Animal Welfare Board of India) vide the present Circular, is merely setting out what is lawful, and what is unlawful, on the subject of treatment or mistreatment of pet dogs and street dogs.

Signed

Dr. R.M. Kharb, Maj. Gen. (Retd.), AVSM

Chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India

Noida Federation instructions to Resident Welfare Associations regarding lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

After the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon’s directive to Presidents of all Gurgaon-based Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) to stop harassing people/residents who have pets and tend to street dogs, comes the below mentioned letter issued by Federation of Noida Resident Welfare Associations to all its member RWAs in Noida, apprising them on the lawful manner of dealing with street dogs and the people who tend to them, feed them, get them sterilized and vaccinated.

So, for all those of you who stay in Noida and are being harassed by your respective RWA for feeding and tending to street dogs, please take note of this important letter, download it from the link below and use it to fight your case for the animals you care for.

Download by clicking here Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 1 of the letter

Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 1 of the letter

Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 2 of the Letter

Noida Federation instructions to RWAs regarding street dogs_Page 2 of the Letter

Please also read:

Gurgaon Municipal Corporation’s Directive to Presidents of Residential Welfare Societies to stop harassing people who have pets and tend to street dogs

To all those of you who are being harassed by their neighbourhood for tending to animals….

Please remember that for the animals, if not for yourself, you need to be strong and fight this out.

While you can approach local animal welfare organisations or animal activists, but in the end, it is a fight you will have to fight on your own, for yourself and the animals you care for…

  • If talking to people and explaining them the below mentioned laws and constitutional provisions doesn’t help, then, whether you like it or you don’t, you need to approach the Police and file an F.I.R or Police Complaint against all the people who are harassing you, abusing you, threatening to kill/harm you/your property and the dogs/other animals you care for.
  • Be sure to mention full names and addresses of all the people who are harassing you and give complete true account of the matter, without exaggerating facts – take help of the points stated below to put your grievances and facts across and mention why you are seeking help from the Police and reporting this matter.
  • There is no law that prohibits feeding of street animals, and citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India. Persons, who are trying to interfere with their effort, or display aggression, can be held liable for having committed the offense described in the Indian Penal Code and criminal intimidation.
  • Moreover, as per Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001(Rules under Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960), vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations.
  • If your municipality is not doing the same, you can file a Police Complaint or FIR against the local Municipal Corporation for flouting the laws and rules mentioned above, which need to be complied with throughout the country, as PCA Act is a Central Act, i.e. it is applicable across the country and the local Police has been mandated with the responsibility of enforcing this act and reporting/booking violations/offenders.

Constitutional provisions:

  • Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, speaks about the duties of every citizen of India. One of these duties includes having compassion for living creatures (Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution). Those who look after animals and other creatures of God are thus protected under the Constitution.

 

  • Article 19 of the Constitution of India, deals with right to freedom and in this freedom are included the right to profession, occupation, trade and business. Therefore, it means that every citizen has the right to occupation and if someone has taken the caring of animals as his occupation, it is legal and he has every right to carry on with his occupation.

Legal provisions:

In a Judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal Authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by individuals and families who adopt and feed stray animals. The court says that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of Municipal Authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local Municipal Authority can successfully carry out its ABC programme. The Court has proceeded to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure protection to such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighbourhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty, finally, the Court has said that every individual has the right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognize it.

  • If you are a woman/girl who is being abused/harassed/threatened by neighbours/people around for being kind to animals, please also note that you can lodge F.I.Rs against these people Under Section 509 of Indian Penal Code (U/S 509 of IPC) – which is a cognizable offence.
  • Under the Govt. of India, Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 (drafted under the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960), no sterilized dogs can be relocated from their area. As per five different High Court orders, sterilized dogs have to remain in their original areas. If the dog is not sterilized, the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate them. Relocation is not permissible, as it would cause more problems such as an increase in dog bites as new dogs will move into the area who are unfamiliar with residents and therefore more likely to be hostile. All problems of stray animals have to be handled within the institutional framework available. No association, recognized or unrecognized, shall take recourse to any action regarding stray animals on their own, either themselves or through any person employed by them like security guards. While residents and Associations are free to address institutional agencies for redressal of grievances in this matter, no resident/association will interfere with the freedom of other residents in caring and attending animals.
  • Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 forbids the displacement of Animals from its natural environment into an environment that is hostile to it, where the animal may be injured/hurt/maimed or killed due to lack of food or fights with other animals. Also, please remember that Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 is a Central Act, i.e. it is applicable throughout the country and the powers to enforce this law have been given to the Local Police.
  • Additionally, Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code also provides for imprisonment and fine, in cases involving animal cruelty. Section 429 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860, a Central Government Act, reads as follows:

“Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.– Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, of any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.”

Following are some of the self-explanatory documents that one can look up and refer to:

1. A 2 page circular issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Training, on the aspect of street animal feeding and prohibits central government employees from harassing street dogs or those feeding/looking after them.

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/public-grievances-circular-pg-1.jpg

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/public-grievances-circular-pg-2.jpg

2. The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/the-animal-birth-control-dogs-rules-2001.pdf

3. A directive issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests- provides immunity to animal feeders and restricts RWAs from harassing people tending to dogs.

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/awbi-direction.pdf

4. M.C.D. (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) notification, showing the approach of the M.C.D. with regard to street animals, which is based on the law of the land.

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/mcd-notices-toi-march-2009.jpg

5. A Times of India news report regarding a Delhi High Court direction to the police to protect persons who feed stray dogs.

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/times-of-india-article-on-feeding.pdf

6. A Hindustan Times news report regarding the view taken by the Supreme Court regarding stray dogs.

http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/ht-article-24th-jan-supreme-court-stays-bombay-high-court-order.jpg

7. An order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/addln-chief-metropolitan-magistrates-order-on-street-dogs-of-india.pdf

8. A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulingshttp://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/a-dossier-of-indian-street-dog-related-laws-and-court-rulings.pdf and Copies of other court judgments can be downloaded from http://www.strays.in/index.php/legal-precedence-faqs-judgements-court-cases-drafts/

9. Reporting a crime and lodging an F.I.R or Police Complaint-

http://jaagruti.org/2013/12/13/reporting-a-crime-all-about-lodging-an-f-i-r-with-the-police/

If you want awareness workshops held in your company or Institution on the subject of animal laws and welfare, for audience in any age-group, please write to us on contact@jaagruti.org

Reporting a Crime: All about lodging an F.I.R with the Police

This post is a much needed compilation we did using the information available on www.jaagore.com and www.ipaidabribe.com, so that people who wish to report animal-related crimes and/or are facing instances of criminal intimidation and harassment from neighbours/RWAs/fellow society people (meted out to those who fight for animal rights, feed/take care of neighbourhood dogs and animals) – can also learn the intricacies behind filing a complaint at the local Police Station, be it an FIR or Police Complaint.

*We thank http://www.jaagore.com and http://www.ipaidabribe.com for their exhaustive work and acknowledge their work and credit all information taken below, except for minor edits and additions done at a few places, to them.

How to file an F.I.R (First Information Report)

  • Technically an F.I.R refers to the information on the commission of an offence given to a police officer by the first informant. In other words, it is basically a complaint document that sets the provisions of the criminal law in motion.
  • To begin with, it is important to primarily understand the difference between Cognizable and Non-Cognizable offences. And F.I.R is filed for cognizable offences.
  • Under the Criminal Procedure Code, commonly known as CrPC, a cognizable offence allows the police to directly register an F.I.R and immediately begin investigation. The accused can also be arrested without a Warrant. Rape, murder, kidnapping and theft are examples of offences that fall into this category.
  • In a Non-Cognizable Offence, the police will require the permission of the court to register a case or investigate. The accused cannot be arrested without a Warrant and the offence is bailable. Examples of non-cognizable offences include criminal intimidation, trespassing, making a public nuisance of oneself, misappropriation of property, physical assault, forgery, causing simple hurt, and simple cheating.

The difference between an F.I.R and a Police Complaint OR the limitations behind lodging an F.I.R are as follows:

An F.I.R can only be filed for a cognizable crime. In the event someone is trying to file an F.I.R for a crime that falls in the non-cognisable category it is the duty of the police to listen to them, enter the matter in their daily register or dairy, give the person a signed copy of the entry made (as proof of the matter being recorded) and direct them to the closest or appropriate magistrate. The signed copy of the entry made by the police is free of cost and is a right to receive. The police may not investigate a complaint even if you file a FIR, when: (i) The case is not serious in nature; (ii) The police feel that there is not enough ground to investigate. However, the police must record the reasons for not conducting an investigation and in the latter case must also inform you. — [Section 157, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973]

Do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while filing a Police Complaint/F.I.R

Details to give when filing an F.I.R: If you are a victim or witness of a crime give clear descriptions of all that you experienced, saw or remember. If you are filing an FIR for a crime that you have second hand knowledge of, then report exactly what you were told or what you heard. Information should never be exaggerated or false. Important details to include are the date, time, location and a description of the culprits or people involved. The sequence of events that occurred and details of what each person did or said

What to do when the police refuse to file F.I.R:

If you are reporting a cognisable crime and the police refuse to register your FIR, you can make a complaint to a higher ranking officer such as the Superintendent of Police (SP)/SHO (Station House Officer of Local Police Station), the Deputy Inspector General (DIG)/ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police)/DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) or the Inspector General of Police (IGP)/CP (Commissioner of Police).

You can also complain to the nearest judicial magistrate, who will order the police to register the FIR if deemed necessary. Ensure that you get a receipt of your complaint being registered. (This means a stamped receiving given by the authority on the photocopy of your complaint)

You can also…

  • Send your complaint in writing to the Superintendent of Police (SP)/SHO of the Local Police Station by Registered Post Acknowledgement Due (Regd. Post AD).
  • Make a written complaint to the concerned State Human Rights Commission or the National Human Rights Commission that the police are not doing their duty of enforcing the law or that they are being negligent, biased or corrupt.

Things you must not do:

  • Never file a false complaint or give wrong information to the police. You can be prosecuted under law for giving wrong information or for misleading the police.—[Section 203, Indian Penal Code 1860]
  • Never exaggerate or distort facts.
  • Never make vague or unclear statements.

Process Flow of filing an F.I.R:

1. It must be filed immediately. If there is any delay, mention it in the form.

2. If given orally, it MUST be taken down in writing and explained to you by the officer in charge, at a Police Station within the jurisdiction of which the offence has taken place.

3. There should be four copies recorded simultaneously, with carbon sheets in place.

4. It must be recorded in first person. Do check in which language this needs to be done.

5. Make sure the officials’ attitude towards you is sympathetic and yours towards him/her is respectful.

6. Avoid complicated, technical words, terminologies and unnecessary details.

7. Try not to overwrite or score out words.

8. Ensure that the arrival/departure time is mentioned in the F.I.R and in the Daily Diary (DD) Register at the Police Station

9. It must contain authentic information, including these necessary bits of information:

- What information do you want to convey?
- In what capacity are you providing the information?
- Who is the perpetrator of the crime?
- Who has the crime been committed against – victim /complainant?
- When was it committed (time)?
- Where was it committed (specific place /locality/area)?
- Why do you think it was committed?
- Which way (actual process involved) was it committed?
- Were there any witnesses? (Names will be required here.)
- What were the losses? (Money /valuables/ possessions /physical damage etc.)
- What were the traces at the scene of the crime? (Weapons/evidence if any.)

10. After completion, you MUST carefully read the document and sign it.

11. It must be recorded by the officer in the book maintained for this purpose by the State Government.

12. You have the right to and must get a copy of it for your records.  You are not required to pay for the same.

13. You are not required by law to give an affidavit.

——————————————————————————————–

Department / Organisation: Police Department

Contact person: Police helpline 100.

Location: Find your local police station within your police jurisdiction on the map.

Note: Police Station located nearest to you may NOT be within the police jurisdiction where you need to report the offence. Be informed of your area police station beforehand.

Infographic Process Flow:

The procedure of filing an FIR is prescribed in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

Infographic Courtesy: jaagore.com

Infographic Courtesy: jaagore.com

Q and As about FIR

Who can lodge an F.I.R?

Any person who is aware about the offence can file an F.I.R. It is not compulsory that he should be an aggrieved person. Even a police officer can file an F.I.R. if he comes to know about any offence. The F.I.R. can be filed by various people like:

  • An aggrieved person.
  • A person who is aware about the facts of the crime.
  • A person who has seen a crime being committed.

2. When can I lodge an F.I.R?

You can lodge an F.I.R only in case of a cognizable offence.

cognizable offence is a criminal offence in which the police are empowered to register an F.I.R, investigate, and arrest an accused without a court issued warrant. Offences like murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, robbery, fraud, etc. are classified as cognizable offences.

non-cognizable offence is an offence in which the police can neither register an FIR, nor effect arrest without the express permission or directions from the court. Offences like simple hurt, verbal abuse, intimidation, defamation, misappropriation of property, physical assault, forgery, etc. are non-cognizable offences.

3. Where can I lodge an F.I.R?

To file an F.I.R, one has to go to the police station within the jurisdiction of which the cause of action arose or the offence took place.

4. How do I lodge an F.I.R?

  • To file an F.I.R, one has to go to the police station within the jurisdiction of which the cause of action arose or the offence took place.
  • Every piece of information relating to the commission of offence is to be given to the officer in-charge of the police station. If it is given orally to the officer, he shall reduce it to writing and read it over to the informant to confirm and verify the details.
  • Every such information has to be signed by the informant after which it is required to be recorded by the officer in a book maintained for this purpose as prescribed by the State Government.
  • The informant is entitled to receive a copy of the F.I.R free of cost.
  • If the officer in-charge of the police station refuses to record the information, you can send the substance of such information, in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police (SP) concerned. The SP is required to start the investigation himself or direct any other officer subordinate to him to start the investigation.

5. Do I have to pay for lodging an F.I.R?

No. You do not have to pay a single penny to lodge an F.I.R. It is free of cost.

6. What are the things I should ensure while the F.I.R is being lodged?

While lodging an F.I.R you must ensure the following:

  • There should be four copies being recorded simultaneously, with carbon sheets in place.
  • Language is important. It must be recorded in first person.
  • Try not to over write or score out.
  • Try to use simple words.
  • Ensure that the arrival / departure time is mentioned in the FIR and in the Daily Diary Register at the Police Station
  • Carefully read the document before signing.

7. What do I do if the police department does not consider my F.I.R?

If the officer in-charge of the police station refuses to record the information, you can send the substance of such information, in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police (SP) concerned. The SP is required to start the investigation himself or direct any other officer subordinate to him to start the investigation.

8. What happens to the F.I.R finally?

  • When there is sufficient evidence a CHALLAN is prepared.
  • When there is insufficient evidence, F.I.R is declared as UNNTRACEABLE.
  • When FIR is found to be false or is transferred to other Police Station on point of jurisdiction, it is declared as CANCELLED.
  • After registering the F.I.R the contents of the F.I.R cannot be changed. Only High Court can quash the F.I.R.

Please also see/refer to the following for more information on this subject:

Gurgaon Municipal Corporation’s Directive to Presidents of Residential Welfare Societies to stop harassing people who have pets and tend to street dogs

Below are embedded image files/scans of a 3 page letter issued by Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to Presidents of all RWAs in Gurgaon to stop harassing people who tend to street dogs and those who have pets (by passing unlawful dictats of banning pet dogs). Please use it to contest against your respective RWA’s who come out with weird aristocratic bye-laws on the same.

You can download all these pages combined together as  PDF File by clicking on the link below.

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012 (http://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/gurgaon-municipal-corporation-directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012.pdf)

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012_Page 1

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-street-dogs_2012_Page 1

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012_Page 2

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-street-dogs_2012_Page 2

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-stray-dogs_2012_Page 3

Gurgaon-Municipal-Corporation-Directive-regarding-pet-dogs-and-street-dogs_2012_Page 3

Suggested reading:

For all yours reference again, please click the link below to the Notice issued by a battery of lawyers to a Gurgaon based RWA that came out with an absurd ruling to ban people from having pets.

Legal notice issued to Kanchanjunga Coop.Group Housing Society at Gurgaon 

Also, please refer to this page on the website of Pet Parents Association.

Pet Dogs and Street Dogs: Do’s and Dont’s

Below is an article written by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, who is the Chairperson of an organisation called, ‘People for Animals’. We happened to receive a copy of it in our Inbox from a fellow animal rescuer and deem it wise to share it on this blog of ours, since a lot of our helpline calls and e-mails are related to this subject.

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In recent times, RWAs, Apartment Owners’ Associations, and Cooperative Group Housing Societies, having taking to imposing various restrictions on pet owning residents, such as disallowing the use of lifts, or parks, by pets, or even banning pets altogether. There is widespread resentment against these moves, because not only do they unreasonably restrict the rights of residents, they are also unlawful and against recent court rulings.

Moreover, as an RWA, or an Apartment Owners’ Association, Cooperative Group Housing Society, gated complex, etc., you may often be getting complaints regarding street dogs, and requests that they be driven away, through beatings by security guards or otherwise, or just dumped elsewhere. If you accede to these requests, you will not only be violating laws and pronouncements of courts, but will not achieve any permanent solutions either. The problem will remain a perennial problem ; and you will also run afoul of animal welfare people that are increasing in number by the day, and banding themselves into well organized groups.

Below, are some DOs and DON’Ts, with respect to both, PET DOGS & STREET DOGS.

I.          WITH RESPECT TO PET DOGS & PET OWNING RESIDENTS :Please keep in mind that the following is what you CANNOT do :-

 BANNING pets, whether allowed :

a)     Even by obtaining consensus, or even if the majority of the residents want it, you cannot legally introduce any sort of ‘ban’ on the keeping of pet dogs by residents.

b)     Even by amending bye-laws or regulations or otherwise, such a ‘ban’ cannot be put into place since it is illegal, and does not have the sanction of law. In fact, in trying to ‘ban’ pets, or limit their number, you interfere with a fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens of India, i.e. the freedom to choose the life they wish to live, which includes facets such as living with or without companion animals.

c)    If the residents that have pets are not violating any municipal or other laws, you cannot object. The general body cannot frame or amend bye-laws that are at variance with the laws of the country. Even by a complete majority, a general body cannot adopt an illegality. Please remember, you do not have the right to legislate, and ‘lay down law’ for residents, and apartment owners or even tenants.

Use of LIFTS by pets :

d)    There is a court ruling to the effect that pets cannot be disallowed from the use of lifts ; and no charges can be imposed either, by housing societies for the use of lifts by pets. In fact, it was widely reported in the news that the concerned court had ruled that “Dogs are family, can use lifts for free”. Kindly ensure that this sort of restriction is not therefore imposed – neither a ban, nor any special charges for the use of lifts by pets.

 Use of PARKS by pets :

e)    Banning pets from gardens or parks, is short-sighted. Firstly, you may or may not own the garden or park in question. It may be an MCD or DDA park, or belong to any other organization. Secondly, pets that are not properly exercised may show aggression in frustration ; and that, surely, cannot contribute to the benefit of the residents. It may be better to fix timings when pets can be walked without inconvenience to other residents. These timings can then be intimated to the general body.

Use of leashes/muzzles by pet owners, defecation by pets in community premises, imposition of fines and other similar measures :

f)     You can request pet owners to keep their pets on leash, when walking them in common areas. You cannot however ask for muzzles as muzzles are illegal for sustained use as dogs die through overheating. Please remember, the law already provides for penalties for negligent pet owners, which the aggrieved parties can avail of.

g)    In the absence of central or state laws requiring cleaning of pet poop by pet owners, you cannot impose any rule, regulation or bye-law, with respect to mandatory cleaning of pet poop, or impose special charges or fines on pet owners. You can, of course, request them to do so.

h)    You can also experiment with the creation of various pet defecation areas within community premises, which is what some housing societies and sectors are doing. These can be imaginatively spaced out within the precincts, and you can request pet owners to train their pets into using the same. You cannot however impose fines and special charges of any kind on pet owners, because there is no mandate in law for the same.

Intimidation :

i)     Lastly, please also always bear in mind that if any association succeeds in intimidating a pet owner into ‘giving up’ or ‘abandoning’ a pet, it will actually have contributed to a violation of law ; and may well be aggravating the menace of ownerless animals on the street, that are not accustomed to living on the street and therefore get involved in and lead to accidents, injuries and deaths. Please also bear in mind that intimidation is an offense in law.

II.         WITH RESPECT TO STREET DOGS :What you CANNOT do :-

1)         Beating and driving away street dogs, NOT ALLOWED ; animal birth control and release back into same locality/territory, ALLOWED :

As per Indian law street dogs (i.e. stray dogs) cannot be beaten or driven away or dumped elsewhere or killed. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations. For the area-wise sterilization program that the law mandates shall be followed, dogs have to be returned back to their original habitat after sterilization and immunization.

2)         The rationale behind release into the same locality/territory :

Dogs, being territorial in nature, tend to fight off other dogs, and keep them from entering their territories ; and in this manner, the dog population in each territory / within each locale, stabilizes.If, however, they are removed permanently, other dogs come into the ‘dog-free’ vacuum that is thereby created. So the ‘problem’ continues.

3)         Street dog feeding, whether inside or outside community premises :

 There is no law that prohibits the feeding of street animals.Citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India – of showing compassion to all living creatures. As recently as the 12th of December, 2011, stray dog feeding has been upheld yet again by the High Court, and the emphatic challenge to the same by one R.W.A., disregarded.

4)         Animal cruelty :

Please also note, animal cruelty is an offence – under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code –punishable with imprisonment and fine.

5)         Intimidation :

Attempts to interfere with, or harass persons who choose to tend to and feed community dogs, maybe tantamount to the very grave offence of criminal intimidation.

6)         Aggression to dogs, counter productive :

Last but not the least : any aggression or hostility that the dogs may be subjected to, will only render them aggressive, and hostile to humans. They may then resort to snapping and biting in self -defense. If the same happens, the human aggressors shall be the only ones to blame.

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-4: A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulings- Read, Print and Share widely

To all those who feed and take care of their neighbourhood street dogs in India, we have one request. Don’t feel weak. The laws are on your side and also in favour of the street dogs you care for.

In this post, we are sharing with you one comprehensive document that compiles all the laws, news-clippings and court orders/rulings, pertaining to street dogs

Please download this document by clicking here: A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulings

Save it, take print-outs and read it well.

These are updated laws, rules, orders pertaining to DOGS, their feeding and other rights. Most dog lovers don’t bother to read them and end up getting harassed while the law is strong and clear. Please keep a copy ready and if possible submit one copy in your local police station and the RWA, so unfortunate encounters can be averted beforehand. 

A point wise synopsis is also written in the beginning of this document.

We thank Citizens for Animal Rights for their effort in compiling this document and sharing the same with us. By posting it here, we are sharing it further and hope you all will share it widely too and feel empowered.

Remember: Your responsibility however doesn’t end with just feeding them, please also ensure that these dogs you care for are sterilized and vaccinated…since you are friendly with them, can touch them, it is much easier for you to collaborate with the NGO run Animal Hospital (that runs the local Municipality supported ‘Animal Birth Control’ Programme for street dogs) near your home to help undertake the sterilization of these dogs, it is just a one time exercise and will prevent you the agony of seeing pups dying (of illnesses and car accidents) in front of your eyes ever so frequently.

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-3: Apply for the ‘Colony Caretaker of Animals-Card’ from Animal Welfare Board of India

AWBI website screenshot-information to dogfeeders, colony caretakers

AWBI website screenshot-information to dogfeeders, colony caretakers

Animal Welfare Board of India has decided to issue Identity Cards to Street Dog Feeders/Colony Care Takers of Animals who are taking care of animals in their locality.

A proforma of registration form can be downloaded from this link- http://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/caretakers.pdf or please click below.

AWBI Form for getting Colony Caretaker of Animals ID Card

Please download the form and send the duly filled in form along with the following:

- Two passport size photographs.
- Self -attested true copy of the Ration Card/ Voter ID/ Driving License/ Passport/ PAN Card

 to

ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA
(Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India)
Post Box No. 8672, 13/1, Third Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar,Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 600 041

Colony Animal Cretaker Form_AWBI_English

Colony Animal Cretaker Form_AWBI_Hindi

A news report on the same in Indian Express dated 21st January 2013, by Senior Correspondent Kamala Kelkar,  is posted below. Please hoever note that the process may take less or more than a couple of weeks for you to receive your cards, as mentioned below

People who care for street dogs will soon be getting government-issued identity cards. The new ID cards are expected to do away with harassment faced by many such persons from the general public, when they try to feed canines on the road.

In a move that animal activists termed “unprecedented,” the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has decided last week that anyone who voluntarily cares for strays — dog feeders and colony caretakers who tend to animals in their locality.

It Board has put up a one-page registration form (can be downloaded free of cost) on its website awbi.org, for those who want to get these ID cards.

The applicant needs to fill in personal information such as name, address and experience. Once the application is submitted, the ID card would be processed and mailed to the applicant, board member and legal advisor Anjali Sharma said.

“The card would have the person’s name and an attestation that he/she is doing a right and lawful deed and the Animal Welfare Board supports it. This lends credibility to the person,” Sharma said.

The AWBI is a legal advisory body that was formed under the Animal Prevention Act of 1960 to protect the animals.

Sharma explained that the goal of the card, which does not provide any exclusive rights, was solely the welfare of animals and caretakers.

“Most people don’t realize that sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs would be possible only through feeding and befriending dogs,” Sharma said.

In December 2011, the Delhi High Court had passed an order voicing its approval for designated “dog feeding spots” for stray canines in the city. It passed the order on a petition which sought to protect dogs from “intimidating” residents, so they could be fed without any hassle.

The court also ruled that police should assist dog feeders if they faced any “harassment” from residents and also ordered the AWBI to designate specific feeding areas.

Rishi Dev, founder of Citizens for Animal Rights who has written a book on “Urban disputes over animals”, said this was the first time that the government was supporting such an initiative.

Sharma hoped that many would come forward to apply for the cards. “They are performing a duty,” she said. “And it’s a legitimate exercise.”

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Series-2: Educating your Residential Society on the scientific and lawful manner of dealing with street dogs

This template letter on Google Docs is kind courtesy of the Voice of Stray Dogs, Bangalore and makes for a good resource material for those of you trying to educate their own residential societies (RWAs i.e. Resident Welfare Associations) on the best possible legally correct, scientific and humane way of dealing with the ‘subject’ of street dogs in their colonies.

How to do this yourself?

Firstly, read these two articles to best understand the Rights of Street Dogs in India and the Delhi High Court rulings on the subject of feeding street Dogs, then save the images and the PDF Files embedded in these articles on to your computer, take a print out of these saved files and attach it as annexures to the above letter that you would draft and address to the concerned person in your RWA, seal the letter and send it across through courier or registered post, keep a photocopy of the same set with you. Be strong and fight it out intelligently, the laws are on your side and the dogs, just use your wisdom and intellect to drive the point across to the ‘uninformed’.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the above subject (kind courtesy of People for Animals):

Q) Can people who feed animals in their areas be stopped by the RWAs or Societies or neighbours under the law ?

A) Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, speaks about the duties of every citizen of India. One of these duties includes having compassion for living creatures. So the animal lover is protected under the Constitution.

Article 19 of the Constitution of India, deals with right to freedom and in this freedom comes the right to profession, occupation, trade and business. Therefore, it means that every citizen has the right to occupation and if someone has taken the caring of animals as his occupation, it is legal and he has every right to carry on with  his occupation.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states the right to personal life and liberty. Now this is the very vast right. If someone wants to feed dogs and provides shelter to the dogs, he has every liberty to do so. He has this right to liberty that the law provides to every citizen of India.

But, above every law and rights, there is a natural right too, which is a universal right, that is inherent in the nature of ethics and contingent on human actions or beliefs. It is the right that is claimed to exist even when it is not enforced by the government or society as a whole. It is the right of the individual and considered beyond the authority of a government or international body to dismiss. Therefore, if there are any rights at all, there must be right to liberty, for all the others depend on this. And, loving, caring and feeding and giving shelter to dogs, definitely is a natural right of any individual.

In a judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by the individuals and families who adopts stray animals and feed them and come to the assistance of such persons. The court says, that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to the humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of municipal authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local municipal authority can successfully carry out its ABC programs. The court has went on to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under the obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure that such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighbourhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty.

And finally, the court has said that every individual has a right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognizes it.

Q) Can an RWA/Society or any individual pick up the dogs in a colony that are sterilized and vaccinated and throw them away somewhere

A) Under the Government of India Animal Birth Control rules 2001 , no sterilized dogs can be relocated  from their area. Under 5 High Court orders , sterilized dogs have to be in their original areas. Even if the dog is not sterilized , the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate him. Relocation is not permissible as it would cause more problems such as increase of dog bites as dogs are territorial by nature and fight to retain their areas keeping out other dogs.