Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench of S.C. Sharma and Virendra Singh, JJ. contemplated a petition by way of Public Interest Litigation in 2013 and sought directions to the State for necessary action to control and prevent rabies to the resident by the expanded population of stray dogs in the locality.

The Petitioner/Advocate, Mr Sanjay, submitted that State has not taken proper steps towards the management, control, and prevention of rabies caused via stray dogs and other animals. He further contested that due to the increased population of stray animals in the locality the residents were facing various problems and the safety was at stake. He has tried to highlight such issue via newspaper and requested the State to intervene. He stated that despite having forced to tackle such issues, State was inactive in managing such serious issues of health and hygiene, State cannot deny that such stray animals can bite therefore causing various diseases which are life-threatening.

The Municipal Corporation submitted a detailed action report and mentioned various measures taken such as:-

  1. Enhanced rate of sterilization of stray animals
  2. Anti-rabies vaccines
  3. Public awareness

The Corporation further submitted that, Several representatives of NGOs and officials of Municipal Corporation held Monitoring Committee meeting in 2019, wherein under proposals for deploying separate vehicle for grown-up puppies in zones where sterilization work is complete and establishment of Asara center for treatment of sick and injured dogs were made.

The Court observed that since the petition was filed, various orders have been issued regarding this matter. Court has in previous instances, directed State and Municipal Corporation to file progress report in conformity with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Animal Birth Controlled Dogs Rules, 2001. Court has also directed the government hospitals to ensure that the injection in respect to rabies (anti-rabies injection) was given free of cost to all persons in case they approached the government hospitals. It was observed that various action reports were filed on behalf of the government and it was ensured that proper measures were adopted, sterilization was carried out and vaccines were made available in all hospitals.

The Court held Municipal Corporation has taken all possible steps to control the population of stray dogs and its ongoing process. Resultantly, no further orders are required to be passed in the present writ petition. It further directed the Corporation to continue with the sterilization until all strays are sterilized and to start with a campaign for public awareness related to birth and control of strays, it directed State to provide a free supply of rabies vaccines for all aggrieved.[Sanjay v. District Collector, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 855, decided on 09-05-2019]

Chhattisgarh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Medical Camp was held on 8.11.2014 at Pendri, Sakri conducted under the National Family Planning Programme for sterilization of women. The petitioner was posted as a Surgical Specialist at District Hospital, Bilaspur. The camp at the venue was to be conducted in three rooms of which one was converted into a room for operating the patients and the petitioner was one of the doctor allotted duty for performing operations.

After the operations, the patients were taken into the recovery room and provided particular tablets, and instructed in respect of the medicines to be taken and all the patients were discharged. However, after all the patients reached their respective home and immediately after consuming the tablets which were provided for recovery, started getting unwell and in due course of time 12 of the ladies who underwent sterilization operation on the said date died and a few had to go through long process of medication.

In this regard, an FIR was lodged in which petitioner was named as accused and accordingly, charge-sheet was filed under Sections 304-II, 308 and 34  IPC and the matter was put to trial before the Sessions Court i.e. the Court of Special Judge, SC &ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Bilaspur. The petitioner has sought the quashment of proceedings against him in Trial Court under Section 482 CrPC before the Court.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that there was no ingredient whatsoever available which are required for making out an offence under Section 304-II or, for that matter, Section 308  IPC. It was further contended that the petitioner was just made a scapegoat in the entire episode without there being any material whatsoever to implicate him. Though the post-mortem report showed that the deceased/s died due to septicaemia but the same was not confirmed from the biological report, the counsel submitted. It was also the contention of the petitioner that the ladies got unwell not after the surgery, but after consuming the medicines given to them stating that the FIR was filed against the petitioner after the hue and cry caused by media over the issue. The legal ground taken by the petitioner was that it was mandatory for the authorities to have obtained previous sanction before initiating criminal prosecution against a public servant particularly in connection with an offence which is alleged to have occurred in discharge of its official duties.

Counsel for the State took the Court through the statements which were recorded during the course of investigation where they have categorically stated in respect of the unhygienic, unhealthy and unsafe conditions under which the ladies had undergone the operation and further submitted that the nature of the act committed by the petitioner was so serious that its gravity alone is to be taken as sufficient ground for rejection of the present petition.

The Court observed that S. 197 CrPC clearly indicates that the provision is mandatorily applicable to all those persons who is or was a public servant at the time of commission of the offence and referred to State of Orissa v. Ganesh Chandra Jew,  (2004) 8 SCC 40. The Court concluded that he entire prosecution initiated by the State is bad in law on account of the non-compliance of the mandatory requirement under Section 197 CrPC was bad in law stating that letting the petitioner undergo the trauma of trial at this point would be miscarriage of justice and abuse of process of law. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the proceedings against doctor  quashed. [Dr. R.K. Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2017 SCC OnLine Chh 198, decided on 15.02.2017]