AoR’s injured hand brings the conversation of human–dog conflict to the CJI’s notice

The Chief Justice of India Dr D.Y. Chandrachud agreed to look into the issue of increasing human–dog conflicts to find a solution to curb such incidents. 

TODAY, the issue of an alleged increase in the incidents of stray dogs attacks echoed in the Supreme Court after an advocate appeared in the court with bandage wrapped around his hand

The victim is Kunal Chaterjee, advocate-on-record (AoR) for the West Bengal government.

Upon inquiry about the injury to his hand, Chaterjee told the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr D.Y. Chandrachud that he was attacked by a pack of five dogs in his locality.

The CJI offered Chatterjee medical attention by the Supreme Court registry.

The Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta who was present in the court weighed in to say that stray dogs biting has become a serious menace.

Referring to a recent incident which surfaced on social media, Mehta said:  “Recently a video surfaced… A child was bitten by dogs in Uttar Pradesh. Usually we do not take much care [to take prompt action against such incidents].

But a month later it was found that the child had developed rabies. When he was taken to the hospital, the doctors informed the family that nothing could be done at that stage. The child passed away in his father’s lap.”

The CJI  also narrated an incident of his law clerk being attacked by street dogs while he was parking his car.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who was also present in the court, added that the issue is serious and that the court should take suo motu cognisance of the issue of stray dogs’ menace.

The CJI promised to look into the matter.

Human–dog conflict has been in the news every now and then in recent years.

In April 2023, a 70-year old retired doctor was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in Aligarh. 

In yet another incident reported in October 2022, a four-year old child was killed by a pack of stray dogs. The video reveals that the child struggled for a minute to escape the hound of dogs.

Human–dog conflict has been on the rise in the new high-rise suburban areas in Delhi National Capital Territory, leading to conflict between dog owners and lovers and victims of dog attacks.

Similar stories from other expanding metropolises also make the news once in a while.

A survey conducted by LocalCircles reveals that out of the 53,000 responses that it received about 82 percent of the respondents stated that attacks by stray or pet dogs or both are common in their area, district or city.

In July this year, a Bench comprising Justices J.K. Maheshwari and K.V Viswanathan had observed that the issue of human–stray dog conflicts required  a durable and humane solution.

The Bench is seized of the issue of stray dogs incidents in Kerala.