Sanjay Phophaliya v. State of Rajasthan and Ors

AIR 1998 Raj 96; 1997 (3) WLC 431; 1997 (2) WLN 112
Download Judgment: English
Country: India
Region: Asia
Year: 1997
Court: High Court - Rajasthan
Health Topics: Environmental health, Public safety, Water, sanitation and hygiene
Human Rights: Right to a clean environment, Right to life
Tags: Cleanliness, Pollution, Waste management

Petition stated that no appropriate steps had been taken by the Municipal Board to take custody of the stray dogs roaming in the public roads, despite the Municipal Board’s responsibility to keep the public spaces clean and abate public nuisances. These stray dogs had created a hindrance in public transport and had proved dangerous to people.

The court cited prior decisions which affirmed that decency and dignity are non-negotiable facets of human rights and that financial inability was no defense for the Municipal Counsel’s non-performance of its principal duties.

The court held that it was the duty of the Municipal Board to remove stray animals from any public place where they were causing a nuisance and that the Municipal Board had been negligent in discharging this duty. The court further held that the staff of the Municipal Board cannot only take action in response to complaints but must actively take rounds of the city to perform its duties.

“9 It is a serious matter when the dogs and other animals suffering from rabies bite animals and persons. The duty becomes more onerous on the respondents with regard to the dogs and such animals. The staff cannot say that its duty is complete if action is taken only on complaints. They must not sit in the office but should continuously take round of the city. If any inaction is found on the part of the staff, the respondents are bound to take disciplinary actions against such staff. If still any accident happens, then the injured person or relative of the deceased person would be competent to invoke the provisions of Section 188 of IPC against such a negligent staff. . . .”