Mrunal Manmay Dash

In a major judgement, the Orissa High Court ordered Puri Municipality to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of a minor who died after being bitten by dogs.

High Court pronounced the order while hearing a petition filed in a 2016 case where a pack of stray dogs mauled the four-year-old child in Puri.

Rajkishore Swain, the counsel of the petitioner said, “The Municipality had submitted an affidavit saying there is no provision in the Municipality Act to provide compensation to the victim’s family. However, the Court anyway ruled that the Municipality should pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased child.”

“The court took cognizance of the Municipality Act and Animal Birth Control Act under which there are provisions to take action against the civic bodies if they falter in controlling stray animals in the cities,” Swain said.

Speaking to OTV, the petitioner said, “I had filed a PIL in the Orissa High Court after four stray dogs mauled the child to death. I wanted the government to compensate the family of the child for their loss.”

It is pertinent to mention here that stray dogs are increasingly becoming a menace for children in the state.

Even the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had taken suo motu cognizance of the increasing incidents of stray dog bites reported at the Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC) in Cuttack.

The commission had issued notices to the Odisha government, the state's hospital administration, and the City Municipal Corporation in May this year regarding the issue.

The NHRC said these incidents, if true, are a violation of the patients' human rights.

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