Animal rights group sends legal notice to IIT-M over treatment of dogs, seeks release

The Delhi-based organisation, in its notice, said that if IIT-M released the dogs to their original habitat and made a public apology it would not pursue the matter further.
Stray animals rescued from IIT-M
Stray animals rescued from IIT-M
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As reports of the death of many dogs within the ‘dog park’ of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) surfaced, Delhi-based Citizens for Animals Rights (CFAR) has sent a legal notice to the institute on October 27, Wednesday. In the notice to the Registrar of IIT-M, CFAR, an organisation that provides shelter and care for homeless animals, said that they have seen numerous reports, photographs and videos of how 188 dogs were captured and kept confined in terrible conditions without food or water within the campus “for no legal reason, except your unverified claims that deer were being killed.”

“Please note the law does not function with your belief and the same cannot become the premise for an act that is considered by the courts as an act of crime. Almost 100 of the captive dogs have gone missing or died, because of your irresponsible and illegal abduction, confinement of these dogs. The rest continue to suffer,” the notice stated.

The legal notice also mentioned that the animals were captured in contempt and contravention of two landmark Supreme Court judgments in the matter of animal rights. Further, the actions are liable for prosecution under Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deal with killing, poisoning or maiming an animal.

The CFAR, in the legal capacity as co-petitioners in the stray dog matter in the Supreme Court, is keeping track of offences and offenders in terms of animal cruelty. It is expected to approach the SC with valid proof to seek legal action against offenders.

 In the legal notice, the organisation also said that it will separately move the Madras High Court in this matter as well. 

The CFAR also urged IIT-M to release all the dogs still with them to their original habitat in the presence of a local animal rights activist, who will act as a witness, and for the release to be documented on video.

“This document will be required by you to be submitted before the Chief Justice bench of SC, once we begin contempt proceedings against you as co-petitioners in the coming weeks. However, if you comply with the law and order of the court and present a public apology after releasing the dogs, then we might consider not pursuing this further,” said the legal notice.

On October 22, three malnourished dogs were rescued from the campus by People for Animals. Following this, eleven more dogs were rescued recently. According to veterinarians who checked the dogs, they observed that the animals are anaemic, malnourished, have sustained injuries and have health issues due to being confined.

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