Chandigarh, November 14: In a landmark judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared that the state will be "primarily responsible" for compensating individuals in cases involving attacks by stray animals, such as dogs and cattle. The court specified a minimum compensation of Rs 10,000 per tooth mark in dog bite cases and a minimum of Rs 20,000 per 0.2 cm of wound where flesh is affected. This ruling comes amid an ongoing debate in the country regarding the menace of stray dogs, with recent incidents, including fatalities, fueling public concern.

Addressing 193 petitions related to attacks by stray animals, the court's directive places the onus on the state to pay compensation, with the right to recover from defaulting agencies or private entities. The High Court ordered Punjab, Haryana, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to establish committees chaired by deputy commissioners to determine compensation for incidents involving stray animals. The committee, including representatives from law enforcement, medical, and transport authorities, must decide on claims within four months of submission. Woman Approaches and Pets Random Dog On the Street, Gets Brutally Attacked by the Animal (Watch Video).

According to multiple reports, the court emphasised that the state is "primarily responsible" for compensation, with the right to recover funds from defaulting agencies or private individuals. The judgment highlighted the escalating danger posed by stray animals on roads, stressing that the state must share the burden and take responsibility. It criticised the lack of state inclination to address the issue, leading to underreporting of incidents and heightened public suffering. Dog Attack Video: CCTV Camera Captures Two Men's Narrow Escape After Being Attacked by Pack of Aggressive Street Dogs in Jalandhar.

The court's guidelines further directed police officers to promptly record daily diary reports (DDRs) on accidents caused by stray animals, verifying claims and recording statements of witnesses. It called for the creation of committees to assess compensation within four months of claims being filed, consisting of officials such as deputy commissioners, police, and medical representatives. The decision aims to address the inadequacies in existing policies, streamline compensation processes, and promote responsible handling of the stray animal population.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 14, 2023 06:26 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website