State failed duty, must pay parents of child who died in dog attack: HC

The Bombay high court has asked the Sangli municipal corporation to pay ₹50,000 to the parents of a boy who died after being attacked by a stray dog in 2013.

The state failed its fundamental responsibility of providing good quality of life to its citizens by not sterilising stray dogs, the court said while ordering the compensation.

The amount is only an interim compensation. The boy’s parents had claimed ₹20 lakh, and the HC has asked a state government panel, set up to decide on such claims, to come up with a final amount by January 31.

A division bench of justice AS Oka and justice SK Shinde was hearing a writ petition filed by the boy’s father, Maruti Shrishilya.

Advocate Manoj Shirsat, appearing for the petitioner, told the court the incident took place when Shrishilya and his son, Tejas, had gone to watch a cricket match in 2013. A few street dogs attacked them and the child died of his injuries, the advocate said.

Shirsat argued that the state should be held accountable as it had not conducted regular checks or sterilisation programmes for stray dogs. As a result, the dogs were violent and attacked the child, Shirsat said.

Calling it a violation of the fundamental rights of the child, and a case of negligence, Shirsat said the state was bound to pay compensation. The bench accepted the argument.

The state told the court there was no scheme under which the compensation the petitioner has claimed could be considered, but said a committee had been set up, based on a Supreme Court order, to deal with such cases. It said the committee would look into the claim.

The bench accepted the state’s submission too. It said once the compensation amount was decided, the petitioner should be paid with an 8% interest from June 2015, when the case was first filed.

The court will hear the matter again on February 8.

First Published: Dec 11, 2018 23:01 IST

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