The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a petition seeking cancellation of bail granted by a lower court to two MBBS students, who had thrown a five-month-old stray dog from the terrace of a three-storied building earlier this month.
Justice P N Prakash, who issued the notice returnable in two weeks, said the pendency of the petition for cancelling the bail granted to the two final-year MBBS cannot be a reason for stay of investigation in the case.
The notice was issued on a petition by Antony Clement Rubin, honorary Animal Welfare Officer of the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Rubin sought cancellation of the bail granted by the judicial magistrate in Sriperumbudur to Gowtham Sudarshan and Asish Paul, students of Madha Medical College, on July 6 last.
Contending that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is a toothless legislation in India, he submitted that violent acts toward animals have long been acknowledged as indicators of a violent psychopathology that does not confine itself to animals.
"Studies have convinced sociologists, lawmakers and courts in developed nations that acts of cruelty to animals merit attention. They can be the first augury of a violent pathology that includes humans," he said.
The petitioner stressed the need of a judicial system to recognise that cruel actions deserve immediate action regardless of past criminal behaviour, so as to prevent the second offence. A strong message must be sent to any person who feels he can dominate abuse or torture another creature, he said.
The petitioner also sought a direction to subject the two students to a psychiatrist test, to do community service at Blue Cross or any other society and to bear the cost of medicine and future maintenance of the dog, named 'Bhadra'.
On July 5, Sudarshan allegedly threw the dog from the top of a building here, which was videographed by his friend.
Soon after the footage went viral in the social media, animal welfare activists filed a complaint with police. The duo were arrested the next day, but were soon released on bail.