Man fined ₹1.6L for feed­ing stray dogs

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Nation - Sadaguru Pan­dit sadaguru.pan­dit@htlive.com

A Kan­di­vli-based an­i­mal ac­tivist filed a po­lice com­plaint against mem­bers of her hous­ing so­ci­ety for ha­rass­ment and ex­tor­tion af­ter they fined her ₹1.6 lakh for feed­ing four stray dogs in the so­ci­ety.

Neha Dat­wani, an MBA and ad­ver­tis­ing pro­fes­sional said the so­ci­ety also threat­ened to seize her flat for non-pay­ment of dues.

“The so­ci­ety started to im­pose fines on me, be­gin­ning from ₹500. By May this year, in the so­ci­ety’s an­nual gen­eral body meet­ing, a law was passed that ₹2,500 will be fined ev­ery time I feed the dogs. In the Oc­to­ber 1 main­te­nance re­ceipt, I was fined ₹1.68 lakh as penalty for feed­ing the dogs with 21% in­ter­est upon non-pay­ment (HT has a copy of the re­ceipt),” Dat­wani added.

The com­plainant is at­tached to a num­ber of an­i­mal wel­fare groups within the city .She said she has been stay­ing in the same so­ci­ety since the last ten years.

“In Septem­ber 2017, only two pup­pies of the four be­ing born in the so­ci­ety premises had sur- vived. Some other com­pas­sion­ate mem­bers of the so­ci­ety and I started feed­ing the pup­pies and tak­ing care of their med­i­cal ex­penses. How­ever, within a month, they were evac­u­ated from the so­ci­ety by one of the com­mit­tee mem­bers,” claimed Dat­wani.

Af­ter the in­ter­ven­tion of po­lice and an­i­mal wel­fare groups, the dogs were brought back to the so­ci­ety. Dat­wani al­leged that since that day, a few mem­bers of the so­ci­ety started ha­rass­ing her for feed­ing the dogs and tak­ing care of them.

Dat­wani claimed that var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions like Peo­ple for Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals (PETA), The Bom­bay So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals and even Union min­is­ter Maneka Gandhi had told the so­ci­ety that their ac­tion was il­le­gal. De­spite this, the so­ci­ety mem­bers in­sisted that she pay the fine and re­move the an­i­mals. Gandhi, in her let­ter to the so­ci­ety on Oc­to­ber 5, said the penalty for dog feed­ing is il­le­gal.

HT tried to con­tact the chair­man of the so­ci­ety, but he re­fused to make any com­ment.

MUM­BAI:

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