Two medical college students from Chennai will have to pay a sum of Rs 2 lakh each for throwing a dog from the rooftop of a building. This came after the Madras High Court directed Dr MGR Medical University to decide on the quantum of penalty amount to be paid by each student.
On Tuesday, a disciplinary committee formed by the Dr MGR Medical University directed Gautam Sudarshan and Ashish Pal to pay Rs 2 lakh each to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
The fine set by the University is unprecedented. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the maximum fine is Rs 50 for cruelty to animals. Latest reports suggest that this sum could be hiked to a meagre Rs 100.
The 34-second video, shot by Ashish Pal showed Gautam Sudarshan holding a dog and flinging it from the rooftop had gone viral in July, with activists and citizens outraged over the horrific act of animal cruelty. The dog was later found by activists Anthony Rubin and Shravan Krishnan and they named her Bhadra.
The High Court's direction came on the basis of a writ petition filed by the two students challenging the university's decision to suspend them. While hearing the petition, the court directed the University to decide on course of action to be taken. The court will soon hear a case filed by by animal right activist Anthony Rubin. He had called for psychiatric evaluation of the two students and whether they were mentally sound enough to be capable of becoming doctors. Rubin has also asked the court to make the two accused do community work with any charitable association. The Chennai police filed the case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act against both Gautam Sudarshan and Ashish Pal after Rubin had filed a complaint initially.
The Humane Society International/India offered a reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who was willing to voluntarily provide valid information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person.
They were arrested on July 6. After police received a tip off, the hunt began for the absconding suspects. They surrendered in Chennai and were produced before the Sriperumbadur Court but were later granted bail.
The dog was later found alive and rescued by animal rights activists.