Stray Dog Menace: Final Hearing on January 10, 2024, SC directs to complete service on unserved respondents in four weeks

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On November 01, 2023, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court constituting Justice KV Viswanathan and Justice JK Maheshwari listed the matter related to the stray dog menace in the country for a final hearing on January 10, 2024. The bench has been considering a batch of matters in the context of the stray dog menace including a plea filed by the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR). The KeSCPCR filed the plea due to an increase in stray dog attacks in Kerala seeking directions to control or curb the menace. Earlier on June 11, 2023, a group of stray dogs attacked an 11-year-old speech-impaired boy, who died due to several dog bite injuries. KeSCPCR took cognizance of the death and said to move SC seeking permission to kill aggressive stray dogs. 

Moreover, on September 11, 2023, the SC expressed concern regarding the growing stray dog menace when a lawyer appeared before the Court with an injured arm. In the previous hearing, Justice Maheshwari opined, “Our intention in this case is very clear. We don’t want to give any interim directions. We want to go through statutes, rules, implementation, problem and solution, and issue guidelines. Thereby, the litigation in other High Courts can be curtailed.” While hearing the matter on November 01, the bench noted that the service to several respondents was incomplete. The SC bench further directed to complete the service on unserved respondents in four weeks stating that if the service is still incomplete (unresponsiveness of the corporations) in matters then the hearing of the matters where service is complete will be commenced and others will be segregated. 

Further, the SC bench directed the parties in different cases to file compilations of affidavits and written submissions by 15 December 2023. The matter was thus listed for a final hearing on January 10, 2024.