THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Wednesday took serious note of the stray dog menace and issued notices to the Chandigarh administration and governments of Punjab and Haryana, asking them to show cause their policies on compensation paid to victims of dog bite.
Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, in a civil writ petition, filed by advocate Hari Chand Arora, seeking a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of a Class V student, who died of a dog bite injury in March 2014, observed that there has been an increase in injuries and deaths caused by stray dogs as well as by pet dogs that are not properly trained or disciplined.
The 12-year-old had been bitten by a stray dog outside his home in Patiala district’s Samana area in January 2014 and despite being administered five anti-rabies injections, died two months later. “I propose to issue notice…to show cause in this case as to what policy they have framed for the purpose of compensating the persons who suffer injuries/death because of bite by the stray dogs and even on account of negligence of the doctors attending to such patients because in this case, the child had died not immediately after the dog bite but at the time when the fifth anti-rabies injection was administered to him,” Justice Jain said in the interim order.
The HC Bench has directed the Registry to request advocate generals of Punjab and Haryana and the Senior Standing Counsel of UT Chandigarh to personally appear on the next date of hearing on July 12. The notices have been issued to the secretary of Chandigarh’s Local Bodies department and the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation besides the authorities in Punjab and Haryana.
The HC observed that the only prevention of the disease is to vaccinate the dogs with anti-rabies injections and the injured are immediately taken to hospital for treatment to escape certain death. “It is very well known that a dog bite is fatal in nature as the person who is bitten by a rabies dog suffers from hydrophobia, which is a fatal and un-curable disease,” the court said.