Mumbai, 5th January 2023: The Bombay High Court observed that dogs and cats are not human beings and granted relief to a delivery boy who hit a dog with his bike. While ordering the quashing of the case and charge sheet filed against him, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on the police who registered the case against the petitioner.
A bench of Justice Revati Dere and Justice Prithviraj Chavan also made it clear that the Indian Penal Code’s section on careless and negligent driving is not applicable if the victim of the accident is an animal. Although animal lovers treat their pet dogs as their children or family members, they are not human beings. Therefore, the court also explained that this clause cannot be applied in this case.
The accident took place in April 2020, and the Marine Drive police registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Motor Vehicles Act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. “But if a person is injured or dies in an accident due to negligent driving, the relevant section of the Indian Penal Code applies. When the law is so clear, the police registered a case against the petitioner under this section without giving it any thought. The police are the guardians of the law. Therefore, they must be careful while filing a case,” the court explained while drawing attention to the role of the police.
On the day of the incident, the petitioner was going on a two-wheeler to deliver food as usual. At that time, a stray dog suddenly came in front of his bike. The dog was seriously injured in the accident and later died. At the time of the accident, the petitioner also fell from the bike. An animal lover who had come to feed stray dogs at the time of the incident filed a police complaint against the petitioner. After that, the police registered a case for causing the death of the dog by negligent driving.