Categories
Real Estate Help

Laws Regulating Pets in Housing Societies and Apartment Associations in West Bengal and Kolkata

Introduction:

It has been seen in many ancient cultures that animals are domesticated for their need and this concept has given mankind to keeping pets at their home. Nowadays, having pets has different meanings attached to it and they even avoid loneliness. Human beings develop an intense emotional bond with the pets and such pets become a part of their family. Many families live in co-operative housing societies or apartments with their pets. This might lead to some objections from other housing society or apartment association members in West Bengal and Kolkata. Sometimes, apartment owners or Housing Society members create problems for the members or owners who keep pets. So, there are many laws which regulate the pets in housing societies or apartments in West Bengal and Kolkata that have been formulated to protect these pets as well as their owners. There are different committees, authorities, and boards that are working to protect these pets and such authorities are regulated by different provisions of law which are mentioned under different statutory Acts.

The Indian Constitution and Article 51(g):

Article 51(g) as follows:

It says that “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.”

So, from the above article, we can conclude that we have to respect every living creature and have compassion for them. It is our duty as a citizen of India to protect nature including rivers and animals.

Some of the rules set by the Animal Welfare Board of Indiain recent days as follows:

 1. “Despite other tenants being in consensus about not allowing pets in the apartment, a ban on owning pets is illegal and can’t be enforced on tenants.”

2. “They can’t pass any such notice regarding the size or breed of dogs which will be accepted in the apartment, while others are rejected.”

3. “The barking of pet dogs won’t be considered as a valid reason to ban dogs from the apartment. However, pet owners are advised to try their best in keeping their dogs quiet, especially at night.”

4. “Apartment associations can’t pass any laws against pets using the elevators or lifts or impose a fine on tenants whose pets use said elevators or lifts. However, if an alternative lift already exists in the apartment, pet owners are advised to use it for convenience.”

5.“Pets can’t be outright banned from gardens, parks and other public spaces. However, provisions can be made to adjust timings such that they don’t disturb or scare other tenants or kids, or create any inconvenience.”

6. “The owners must follow strict regimes to keep their pets healthy and hygienic. All vaccinations should be administered regularly and adequately. Sterilisation of pets is advised, to keep their population in check.”

7. “Pet owners are advised to participate in the effective cleaning of faeces from their pets while on public premises, methods of which might be suggested by apartment associations.”

The above-given rules are framed by the Animal Welfare Board of India. These rules are made to protect the pets of the apartment owners and housing societies in West Bengal and Kolkata. The Animal Welfare Board checks for illegal activities done by the people of the apartment on pets and any objections raised by your neighbours or society members can be countered under such provisions of law for the protection of pets in housing societies and apartment associations in West Bengal and Kolkata.

There are other rules made to protect the pets and stray animals such as:

  1. Any cruelty towards any animals is a punishable offence under Section 428 and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code and also punishable under section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 
  2. It is also said that no bears or monkeys or other animals can be trained for entertainment purposes and it is provided under Section 22(ii) of the PCA Act, 1960.
  3. There is no bar to keep pigeons, finches, poultry and other love-birds as pets but there is a bar to keep parakeets as pets and it is strictly forbidden.
  4. Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India says that Resident’s Welfare Associations cannot force any owner or member of an apartment to dislocate the street dogs and also they cannot impose fines on the member or owner of the apartment.
  5. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 provides a duty to each and every citizen of India to safeguard the animals and the environment.

There are different rules and regulations mentioned in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017; Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017; the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Aquarium and Fish Tank Animals Shop) Rules, 2017; and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 to protect and safeguard the pets and animals of the country and us as citizens of the country are bound to obey these rules and regulations specified in the above discussion.

Some bye-laws and rules which are laid down for the pet keepers or apartment owners or Housing Society members are as follows:

  1. They should consider pets as their family member.
  2. The barking of a dog is a natural form of expression which has to be tolerated by them.
  3. They must ensure that their pets are healthy and clean.
  4. Care-givers should remember that they should not feed street dogs near their residence.
  5. No apartment owners or Housing Society members can put a bar on keeping pets in the apartment or Society even if the majority is in favour of such ban.
  6. No members of the apartment or Society can disallow the owners of the pets to use lifts for the pets.
  7. Pet owners must leash the pets in all common areas.
  8. No one can disallow the owners of the pets to use the parks for the pets.
  9. Banning to keep pets is the violation of the fundamental right of the citizen of India.
  10.  If no pets or residents are violating the municipal laws, they can continue to stay in the Housing Society or apartment.

Case Analysis:

“P.Parthasarathy vs The Sub Inspector on 14 February 2019 Madras High Court”

“It is seen that the petitioner is the sole accused and he is charged for the offences under Section 11 (1) (a) (b) (e) (g)(h) (j), 26 (a) (b) (c ) (d) under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 on the allegation that he has not maintained them properly Marmoset Monkey and Macaw (Panjavarna Kili) by not feeding food, water and providing sufficient space for them. It is seen that the petitioner is maintaining pet animals by running a pet shop in the name and style of AR Aquarium. He is also running a pet clinic with a proper licence obtained from the Corporation of Chennai and he possessed with two gifted pet animals namely Marmoset Monkey and Macaw (Panjavarna Kili) at his shop and the above said pet animals are not for sales or for an exhibition. There is also no evidence that the petitioner exhibited or trained the above animals for money and no evidence of ticket sold to the public. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department by its communication dated 23.01.2013 stated that on inspection certified that the Marmoset Monkey and Macaw (Panjavarna Kili) are not covered under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act. It is also confirmed by the dealers in exotic birds that these two species are exotic species and they are not covered under the Indian Wildlife Act. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department also certified that Marmoset Monkey and Macaw (Panjavarna Kili) are not protected under any provisions of Wildlife Act.”

“Therefore, these animals are not coming under the purview of Wildlife Protection Act and as such the offence alleged by the respondent under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 are not attracted as against the petitioner. On this ground alone, the entire criminal proceedings as against the petitioner cannot be sustained. In view of the above discussion, this Criminal Original Petition is allowed and the proceedings in C.C.No.163 of 2014 on the file of the learned V Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai is quashed.”

The above case says that the accused party had Marmoset Monkey and Macaw (Panjavarna Kili) and he did not feed them properly and when a case was filed against him it was seen that the keeping of these two animals are not protected under any provisions of the Wildlife Act and the accused was accordingly punished by the court.

“People For Elimination Of Stray vs State Of Goa And Ors. on 7 January, 2003 Bombay High Court”

“Respondent No. 5 i.e. people for animals, has opposed this petition strongly. According to them, the petitioners have made reckless and sweeping allegations without any material. They have stated that they filed writ petition before this Bench in 1988 in public interest litigation praying that barbaric practice of shooting stray dogs should be stopped forthwith and as a consequence of this petition, certain steps were taken by the authorities, namely, formation of State Advisory Board for Animal Welfare in April 1999 and, secondly, Panaji Municipal Council preparing the scheme for control of stray dog population in Panaji Municipal area. Thereafter, they signed M.O.U. with Panaji Municipal Council to implement the scheme and agreeing to sterilize 1200 dogs per annum under the Animal Birth Control programme. They were allotted land for setting up animal shelter at St. Inez in May 1999 and on an average according to them, 150 to 200 stray dogs are sterilized per month at the shelter and various other steps are taken and they have been informed by Panaji Municipal Council that the stray dog menace has decreased. They have also stated that sterilisation programme is also initiated in other Municipalities. That they sent municipal report about their working to the Director of Animal Husbandry and other Municipal Councils and in this background, they oppose this writ petition. Their grievance is that no genuine efforts are made by the petitioners’ organization to visit the animal shelter of the respondent No. 5 and to appreciate the work done by them.”

“Whether in the circumstances and seriousness of the problem, the danger posed and the menace caused by the stray dogs, resort can be had to the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the relevant provisions of the Bombay Municipalities Act, Maharashtra Municipalities Act and Goa Municipalities Act and other enactments;”

“Whether inspite of the aforesaid provisions of sub-section (3) of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and other Acts referred to above, the killing of the stray dogs has to be totally prohibited.”

The above case says that one party has filed a writ petition against the accused of shooting street dogs and they also prayed to ban shooting street dogs. The court here said that shooting of street dogs should be banned or prohibited according to laws mentioned above.

Conclusion:

Today, many people in the housing societies and apartment associations in West Bengal and Kolkata are animal lovers and they domesticate animals as their pets. However, several issues arise out of keeping such pets. The above discussion provides all the relevant provisions to handle any such disputes that may arise out of keeping pets in apartment associations or housing societies in West Bengal and Kolkata.  It is better to consult lawyers to get better solutions for these matters and it also becomes easier to handle after consulting experts in the protection of pets. For more information and specific solutions, you may fill out the contact form here or comment below.

Ask any Query...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.