Man fined ₹1.6L for feeding stray dogs
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.