The Supreme Court has upheld a previous Delhi High Court order that allowed residents to feed stray dogs in their residential areas. The top court vacated its stay order on a Delhi High Court judgement of 2021 that stated stray dogs have the right to food with citizens also having a right to feed them. The court had ordered a stay on the order on March 4 citing that the order might lead to an increase in stray dog menace.
A bench comprising of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted on Thursday that their earlier stay had come from a petition filed by Humane Foundation for People and Animals which had challenged the High Court’s order, even though it was not party to the proceedings of the case.
The Supreme court stated that since the original parties had resolved their dispute the appeal filed by the NGO had no locus to intervene in subsequent proceedings.
“The petition was filed seeking permission to file the appeal as the NGO (Human Foundation for People and Animals) was not a party to the suit. It is understood that the parties to the said suit settled the matter. Since the matter dealt with controversies arising between two private parties, the applicant seeking permission to file SLP has no locus (standi). We, therefore dispose of the petition and vacate the interim order…,” the bench ordered.
The previous High Court order had said that any person having compassion for stray dogs can feed them at their private entrance or driveway of their house or any other place not shared with other residents but no one can restrict the other from feeding dogs, until and unless it is causing harm or harassment to them
The initial dispute was between two residents of the same locality on the issue of feeding the dogs in their colony. One of them had sought direction to restrain the other from feeding street dogs near the entrance of a property. Later, a settlement took place between the two and a designated place was fixed for feeding the canines.