Child mauled to death by stray dogs: Delhi HC asks police to investigate "nature" of pets in area

Child mauled to death by stray dogs: Delhi HC asks police to investigate "nature" of pets in area

New Delhi | The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Police to investigate the "nature" of pets kept by residents in Dhobi Ghat area of Tuqhlaq Lane area where a one-and-a half-year-old girl was allegedly mauled to death by a pack of dogs last month.

Justice Subramonium Prasad asked the police to file a status report before March 19 giving the details.

The court was hearing a petition by the infant’s father seeking a Rs 50 lakh compensation for the death of the child.

“Police are directed to investigate regarding the nature of pets that are kept in the area. It is also stated that there was a pitbull in the area. Investigate this. Status report be filed by Tuesday,” the court said.

During the hearing, the court asked the police to also find out if there was any pet dog in the nearby houses where the incident took place.

The court said it was seeking the information just to rule out the apprehension of a ferocious dog kept in a nearby house which could have attacked the child.

One of the counsel, representing an NGO which was seeking to be impleaded in the case, claimed there was a pitbull in the area.

“What is troubling me is that if you look at our houses, all of us normally have guards in front of our house, not in the back. If a child was attacked, the question is in day time it did not attract anybody’s attention. This is a factor which is in my mind,” the judge said.

The high court had earlier issued notice to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the city government, and the police and sought a status report from them with regard to the steps taken to ensure that such incidents do not take place again.

The toddler was sitting outside her home when four to five dogs were claimed to have attacked her, dragged her for several metres and left her badly mauled.

The high court had earlier said people feedings stray dogs had made them "too territorial" and they attack anybody. They are becoming a menace for the pedestrians, it had said.

It had added feeding strays may be good but it was taking away their capacity to go and find their own food.

The counsel for the petitioner had said in the instant case, dogs were being fed in a children's park, putting children at risk.

He also prayed for directions to the authorities to take immediate steps to shift the dogs elsewhere.

Rahul Kanaujiya has said in his plea that due to the negligence and administrative lapse by the NDMC, his daughter was brutally attacked, dragged to a secluded place, and mauled by a pack of violent dogs on February 24.

"It is the duty of the State to save and protect the lives of the people as per Article 21 of the Constitution. Such negligent and administrative lapse on the part of the NDMC has violated the fundamental rights of the deceased child and the petitioner, enshrined under Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution," the plea filed through advocate Rajat Bhardwaj said.

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