The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said that animals like cats and dogs are territorial and mark their areas and live there permanently. [Paromita Purthan v. BMC & Ors.].The Court further stated that the judges and staff members of High Court care for cats in the High Court as a consequence of which the High Court premise was teeming with cats which even occupy the dais meant for judges.A division bench of Justices GS Kulkarni and RN Laddha highlighted how cats mark their territories and keep coming back to the area where they are looked after and cared for. “Have you taken a round for the High Court? Have you seen the number of cats? There are cats everywhere. Sometimes, they are even sitting on the judges’ dais. You take them out from there, they will come back. Those cats are permanently around the areas chosen by them. Some cats are permanently located in the bar rooms, some inside or outside a particular judges’ chamber. Those cats will be permanently located there only, you won’t find them anywhere else. They mark their areas,” the judge said.The remarks were made while dealing with a petition by a resident of a housing society seeking designated feeding areas in housing society for stray dogs. .The petitioner Paromita Purthan claimed that her society was not willing to provide a designated feeding spot for stray dogs and was also disallowing her from feeding them..The Court batted for the rights of the dogs, stating that it is important to care for all animals, as they are also living beings.“These are all living beings, we have to care for them. The petitioner has been nurturing for the dogs in a particular area, they will continue coming there. You have to take care and to survive with them,” Justice Kulkarni said..The Court refused to restrain Purthan from feeding the stray dogs and instead asked the society to discuss the issue with Purthan and amicably find a spot for feeding..Earlier on Monday, the bench had warned members of society that taking coercive measures against persons taking care of stray animals cannot be permitted..The Court said that treating stray dogs with cruelty was an unacceptable approach from persons living in a civilised society.“To hate the stray dogs and/or treat them with cruelty can never be an acceptable approach, from persons of civil society, as an act of cruelty to such animals would be against the Constitutional ethos and the statutory provisions,” the 9-page order stated..It also had a word of caution for those who prevent other members of the society from taking care of stray dogs.“If the Society continues to take any coercive measures as noted by us above and by physical force, persons like the petitioner are prevented from taking care of these animals, and/or from pursuing such activity which is wholly permissible in law, such actions on their part would not only be contrary to the provisions of law, but also, amount to commission of an offence” the court held..The High Court referred to the Animal Birth Control Rules of 2023 which specifically provides for feeding of community animals.It reiterated that these rules have to be strictly adhered to.