Published: 29th October 2021
Is IITM liable to be held in contempt by Supreme Court for confining dogs? Delhi animal activist seems to think so
According to the data released by the institute, since September 2020, it had captured 188 dogs and had kept them in an enclosure, stating a dog-deer conflict on campus
A Delhi-based animal activist, who was a co-petitioner in the case relating to stray dogs that was filed in the Supreme Court, has sent a notice to Jane Prasad, Registrar, IIT Madras — the notice asks her to release all the dogs that the institute have captured and kept in their enclosure immediately and to issue a public apology. Activist Rishi Dev, the founder of Citizens For Animal Rights says that the institute's decision to capture free-ranging dogs and confine them is illegal and that the Supreme Court has stayed any kind of "impounding, killing and dislocation of free-ranging dogs anywhere in India."
According to the data released by the institute, since September 2020, it had captured 188 dogs and had kept them in an enclosure, owing to a dog-deer conflict on campus. While around 30 per cent of them had died, 14 were sick. Recently, a few animal activists in Chennai had taken these 14 dogs to private hospitals in the city and their images had gone viral. The photographs of malnourished dogs had caused a huge uproar.
"We demand immediate release of all dogs to their original habitat along with documented video recordings of their release, in front of a local animal activist as a witness. This document will be required by you to be submitted before the Hon'ble Chief Justice bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, 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 hon’ble court and present a public apology after releasing the dogs, then we might consider not pursuing this further." reads the notice.
He claimed that copies of the notice were also sent to IITM Director Dr Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, the state's Chief Secretary Dr V Irai Anbu, Health Minister Ma Subramanian, Secretary, Animal Husbandry Dept, TN Ministry of Health, Commissioner, Chennai Corporation and Animal Welfare Board of India officials.
Dev also says that his team is separately moving the Madras High Court for getting the ongoing appeal and matter on dogs clubbed with the main petition, by submitting the order from the Supreme Court to Madras High Court. The said petition was filed by Chennai-based animal activist Arun Prasanna. The matter is up for hearing in November. "I had come to know of this issue only now. Had I known this earlier, I would have sent this letter earlier. This is unlawful and I hope the institute does not invite trouble," says Dev.
We are yet to confirm if the notice has been received by IIT Madras. We will update the copy if they comment on this matter.