The Supreme Court on Monday asked Kerala government its opinion on whether state or local civic bodies should be held responsible for dog-bites and hold liability towards victims in the state. The apex court asked the Oommen Chandy government to respond in a week.
The Times of India reports that the applicant’s lawyer VK Biju told the court that a large number of poor children and the elderly got frequently mauled by stray dogs. He also alleged there was a connection between NGOs which are against stray-dog culling and the anti-rabies vaccine companies.
“It has increased from an average of 88,178 incidents per year to more than one lakh a year. In 2015, till June, 11 persons died due to rabies contacted through dog bite,“ Biju said, ToI reports.
Appearing for the state, senior advocate R Basant told the court that government could do very little to check the stray dog menace as SC had stayed Kerala HC order enabling stray dog culling. “We are catching them, sterilizing them and releasing them in the same locality as per the law,“ he said, as per report.
But the apex court refused to accept the argument. It said, “You can catch stray dogs and put them in designated enclosures. The court said don't kill them, this does not mean you will throw up your hands.“
An affidavit filed by Union ministry of women and child development (WCD) in SC, said “`public health and sanitation, hospital and dispensaries' comes under the state list. It is, therefore, the duty of the state government to provide sufficient medicines to government as well as private hospitals to tackle the dangerous situation arising due to attack of stray dogs in the state of Kerala."