Amid a rise in dog attacks across India, the district consumer disputes redressal forum in Gurugram on Tuesday, 15 November, issued directions to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) to ban pet dogs of 11 foreign breeds with immediate effect.
The forum also directed the MCG to take into custody a pet dog who had attacked a domestic worker in Gurugram in August, and pay compenstaion of Rs 2 lakh to the woman who was attacked, according to The Times of India.
Which dog breeds have been banned? What happens to dog owners who already have these dogs? Keep reading.
Which dog breeds have been banned?
Eleven breeds have been banned and they are:
American Pitbull Terrier
What happens to these breeds?
As per the directions, the MCG will have to cancel "all the licences, if any, issued to owners of the above dog breeds," with immediate effect and take the dogs into custody.
How have dog owners responded?
Dog owners have been in a fix ever since the order was passed, with many calling it dictatorial, according to The Indian Express.
Chitranshul Sinha, a lawyer, told the publication that the consumer forum has no inherent powers to pass orders like a writ court. "... Further, it has passed orders fixing registration fees and fines, which is also not within its jurisdiction” he said.
Vijay Pal Yadav, joint commissioner, MCG, said, “We are examining and reviewing the forum’s directions, after that, any decision shall be taken." He added that there will be a discussion with senior officials and if required, notices shall be sent to dog owners
What are the other directions by the forum?
The forum also directed the MCG to make registration of pet dogs compulsory with effect from 15 November and to issue licenses at a fee of at least Rs 12,000 per year with a renewal fee every year of not less than Rs 10,000 per year.
As per the order, every registered dog will have to wear a collar which shall be attached to a metal token and a metal chain. One family can keep only one dog and whenever the registered dog is taken to public places, its mouth shall be properly covered with a net cap.
It further stated that those found violating the aforesaid provisions, would have their dog immediately taken into custody by the MCG and that a fine of “not less than Rs 20,000 and extending upto Rs 2 lakh” would be imposed on the violator and in default of the provisions, he will incur “imprisonment not less than one month which may extend upto two years”.
What about stray dogs?
The forum also directed the civic body to take all stray dogs within its limits into custody with immediate effect and keep them in dog pounds or at a place maintained by the MCG near Basai village, with the help of NGOs.
“For stray dogs, in case of dog bite cases, the minimum compensation shall not be less than Rs 20,000 which may extend up to Rs 2 lakh depending on the nature and gravity of the injuries suffered by the victim,” it said, adding that the MCG was further directed to come up with appropriate rules in light of these directions within three months.
What triggered this response?
The district consumer forum was hearing the case of a domestic worker, Munni, who was attacked by a Dogo Argentino, which was allegedly off its leash, in August this year.
She suffered injuries to her head, and following the incident, an FIR was registered. The forum ordered an interim compensation of Rs 2 lakh to be paid to the victim by the dog's owner.
The forum noted that the medical records indicated that the complainant had to undergo protracted follow-up medical treatment and care at Safdarjung hospital. It added that since the owner had violated the law of the land by keeping a banned breed (Dogo Argentino) as a pet dog, the MCG was at liberty to recover the Rs 2 lakh from the dog owner, according to The Indian Express.
The Quint reached out to the MCG for comment on the order and the story will be updated with their response.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and The Times of India. )