Bombay High Court accepts unconditional apology of advocate, civic officer who wanted designated spot in court premises to feed stray dogs

The Court had last week issued a show-cause notice to the civic officer and also the advocate as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for interfering with administration of justice.
Stray dogs
Stray dogs

An advocate and a civic official, who were put to notice for contempt of court for seeking to earmark a place in the court premises for feeding stray dogs, tendered unconditional apology before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday [Vijay Shankarrao Talewar vs State of Maharashtra].

A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Mahendra Chandwani accepted the unconditional apology tendered by advocate Ankita Kamlesh Shah and Dr Gajendra Mahalle, the deputy commissioner of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC).

"The deputy commissioner has filed his affidavit tendering unconditional apology in response to the show cause notice issued to him on the last occasion. His affidavit of apology is not happily worded but, we are willing to grant leniency to Dr Mahalle, with the hope that he has realised now the responsibility and duty of his office. The unconditional apology is accepted and the issue of proposed contempt action against him is closed," the Court said in the order.

The bench had last week issued show-cause notices to advocate Shah and Mahalle as the former had written a letter, which was endorsed by the latter, wherein the High Court Registrar was requested to designate a spot in the court premises for feeding stray dogs.

The letter was in protest against the order passed by the bench in October this year, ordering the police authorities to impose a fine of ₹200 on citizens, who feed stray dogs in public places.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the bench also asked the NMC to give data of the dogs sterilised.

"We direct the NMC to clarify as to whether or not the dogs which have been collared by the Corporation authorities have been sterilised and if so, whether their ears have been clip pet and/or tattooed and as to whether or not tokens have been issued to those dogs while maintaining the register of such sterilised dogs. We direct the civic body to place before us the register of sterilisation of dogs on the next date," the order stated.

The matter would be heard next on January 4, 2023.

Advocate FT Mirza appeared for the petitioners. Additional Government Pleader DP Thakare represented the State. Advocate SM Puranik represented the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. Advocate Sundeep R Badana appeared for Advocate Shah, who wrote the letter.

[Read Order]

Vijay Shankarrao Talewar vs State of Maharashtra (Apology).pdf
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