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Q. Stray cats menace in apartment

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Anonymous

posted 2 months ago

question iconStray cats menace in apartment

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am a resident of an apartment in Chennai which has nearly 160 flats. In our apartment, we are not stopping residents from keeping pets in their flat. The problem is arrival of stray cats in the last 6 months which was not earlier. Few of our apartment residents wishes to have cats but hesitates to maintain/take them into their flat. Since these stary cats are roaming in the apartment common area 24/7, we are facing issues like:
1. Growth of cat population.
2. Leaving half eaten prey which is causing inconvenience and unhygienic conditions.
3. Defecation in common area.
4. Most of the time, cats/kittens sit on our car bonnet and also scratching of seat covers of 2wheelers.
5. The hairs of kittens or a cat are also harmful as they lead to allergy or chronic disease like asthma.

We are not stopping residents from keeping pets at home. But here the case is some residents want to maintain stray cats in the common area just only for their entertainment but not willing to take any responsibility for the problems due to stray cats. RWA tries to move these stray cats to some other safe zone; however, those cat lovers protest against moving cats out of our apartment compound. How to handle this situation; can RWA move these stray cats to some other safe zone? Is there any legal issue? Please advise. Thanks.

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Kishan Dutt Kalaskar Retired Judge

Kishan Dutt Kalaskar Retired Judge

Responded 2 months ago

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A.Dear Sir,
How to File a Harassment Complaint Against a Neighbour
Is Calling Police an Option?
Yes, calling a police if your neighbor harasses you is an option to go with. You have the option to call the police by just dialing the police number 100 and police will come to the place mentioned by you in the phone call. They will come to the spot and ask you the problem and then will take the action against them. And, when they will reach the spot you should be having sufficient proof to prove the harassment by neighbors.
Harassment Through Nuisance
You may be living in an apartment or in a duplex, often it happens, when you hear loud music sound from the neighbor’s house, you try to ignore that sound for as long as possible but sometimes, such noise may make life difficult. This type of nuisance is defined in Section 268 of the Indian Penal Act.
Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code defines nuisance when the person is guilty of a public nuisance when he does any act which causes injury, danger or annoyance to the public or the people in general who live or occupy the property in the neighborhood.
A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.
If this type of harassment is faced by you from your neighbor then, you can file an application under Section 268 of IPC in the court of magistrate.
Punishment of nuisance is defined in Section 290 of IPC, which is mere Rs. 200 but the court can do much more.
As a matter of fact, calling 100 is most effective as, after a visit or two from the police, such nuisance is likely to stop. In extreme cases, police may even confiscate the instruments that are used to cause nuisance like – loudspeakers or sound boxes, or drones, cameras or such other tools.
Sometimes, police does not intervene despite laws being there as they do not like extra work on their plate or because the other party is very influential. In such cases, you may need to take help of legal experts.
Harassment Through Mischief
When you live in a duplex, you are sharing a common wall. If your neighbor starts construction in that common wall you do not have the right to stop him from constructing because it is his legal right but if during the construction work your property gets damaged, you can ask him to compensate for the loss suffered by you but if your neighbor refuses to pay you the amount then you can file a case under –
Section 425 of IPC which states that whoever with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously, commits mischief.
You can file suit for declaration and mandatory injunction in a civil court as well.
You can claim damages in the same suit.
THE KARNATAKA POLICE ACT,
(similar State Police Act also existing in each State)
92. Punishment of certain street offences and nuisance.—(1) In any local area to which the Government by notification in the official Gazette from time to time extends this sub-section or any clause thereof, whoever, contrary thereto,— (a) without lawful excuse drives along, or keeps standing in, any street a vehicle of any description or drags or pushes in any street, a vehicle of any description other than a bicycle at any time between half an hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise without a sufficient light or lights; (b) without reasonable cause, drives, drags, or pushes any vehicle otherwise than on the near or left side of the road or passes any vehicle except on the right side of it and at any speed higher than what may be prescribed by notification by Government; (c) leaves in any street insufficiently tended or secured any animal or vehicle; (d) causes obstruction, injury, danger or alarm in any street, or mischief, by any misbehavior, negligence or ill-usage in the driving, management or care of any animal or vehicle, or drives any vehicle or animal laden with timber, poles or other unwieldy articles through a street, contrary to any regulation made in that behalf and published by a competent authority; (e) exposes for hire or sale any animal or vehicle, cleans any furniture or vehicle, or cleans, grooms, trains or breaks in any horse or other animal or makes or repairs any vehicle or any part of a vehicle in any street (unless when in the case of an accident repairing on the spot is necessary) or carries on therein any manufacture or operation so as to be a serious impediment to traffic or a serious annoyance to residents or to the public; (f) (i) causes obstruction in any street by allowing any animal or vehicle which has to be loaded or unloaded or has to take up or set down passengers, to remain or stand therein longer than may be necessary for such purpose; or by leaving any vehicle standing or by fastening any cattle therein, or using any part of a street as a halting place for vehicles or cattle, or by leaving any box, bale, package or other thing whatsoever in or upon a street for an unreasonable length of time; (ii) or causes obstruction by exposing anything for sale or setting out anything for sale or upon any stall, booth, board, cask, basket or in any other way whatsoever contrary to any regulation made and published by the Commissioner, or a District Magistrate; (g) causes obstruction on any foot-way, or drives, rides or leaves any animal or drives, drags or pushes any vehicle thereupon; (h) exhibits, contrary to any regulation made and notified by the Commissioner or a District Magistrate, as the case may be, any mimetic, musical or other performances of a nature to attract crowds or carries or places bulky advertisements, pictures, figures, or emblems in any street whereby an obstruction to passengers or annoyance to the inhabitants may be occasioned; (i) uses or operates at any place any apparatus for amplifying any musical or other sound, such as a megaphone or loudspeaker, any time between ten o’clock in the night and six o’clock in the morning, whereby any annoyance, disturbance, or discomfort is caused to the inhabitants in the vicinity; (j) obeys a call of nature or permits a child to do so or bathes or washes his person in or near to and within sight of a street or public place (except in some place set apart for the purpose by order of a competent authority) so as to cause annoyance to the neighbouring residents or to passers by; 52 (k) negligently lets loose any horse or other animal, so as to cause danger, injury, alarm or annoyance to the public, or suffers a ferocious dog to be at large without a muzzle, or sets on or urges a dog or other animal to attack, worry or put in fear any person or animal; (l) bathes or washes in or by the side of a public well, tank, or reservoir, not set apart for such purpose by order of a competent authority or in or by the side of any pond, pool aqueduct, part of a river, stream, nalla or other source or means of water supply in which such bathing or washing is forbidden by order of the competent authority; (m) defiles or causes to be defiled, the water in any public well, tank, reservoir, pond, pool, aqueduct or a part of a river, stream, nalla or other source or means of water-supply, so as to render the same less fit for any purpose for which it is set apart by the order of the competent authority; (n) obstructs or incommodes a person bathing at a place set apart for that purpose as aforesaid, by wilful intrusion or by using such place for any purpose for which it is not so set apart; (o) wilfully and indecently exposes his person, uses indecent language or behaves indecently or riotously or in a disorderly manner in a street or place of public resort, or in any public office; (p) is drunk and incapable of taking care of himself in a street or place of public resort; (q) wilfully pushes, presses, hustles or obstructs any passenger in a street, or disturbs the public peace or order, by violent movements, menacing gestures, wanton personal annoyance, screaming, shouting, wilfully frightening horses or cattle, or otherwise; (r) uses in any street any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or posts up or affixes or exhibits any indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting paper or drawing with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or whereby a breach of the peace may be occasioned; (s) begs importunately for alms, or exposes or exhibits, with the object of exacting charity, any deformity or disease or any offensive sore or wound in or near to and within sight of any street; (t) throws or lays down any dirt, filth, rubbish or any stones or building materials in any street, or causes any offensive matter to run from any house, factory, dung-heap or the like into any street (u) neglects to fence in or duly to protect any well, tank, or other dangerous place or structure; (v) without the consent of the owner or occupier, affixes or causes to be affixed any bill, notice or other paper upon any building, wall or fence, or writes upon or defaces or marks any such building, wall or fence; (w) without the consent of the Government or the public authority concerned, affixes or causes to be affixed any bill, notice or other paper upon any lamp-post, tree, letter-box, transformer, street or any other property belonging to Government or any public authority, or writes upon or defaces or marks or causes to be written upon or defaced or marked, any such lamp-post, tree, letter-box, transformer, street or other property; (x) spits or throws any dust, ashes, refuse or rubbish in or near to any street, public place or place of public resort so as to cause annoyance to any passerby; (y) 1 [xxx]1 or spits in any court, police station, public office or building occupied by Government or any public body, in contravention of a notice by a competent authority in charge of such place and affixed to such court, station, office or building, 53 1. Omitted by Act 2 of 2003 w.e.f ….. shall be punished with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, provided that imprisonment in default of payment of such fine shall not exceed eight days notwithstanding anything in section 67 of the Indian Penal Code. 1 [(2) (a) The provisions of sub-section (1) or any clause or clauses thereof may be extended by the State Government by notification,— (i) to such local area as may be specified in such notification; or (ii) to such local area for such period as may be specified in such notification. (b) The State Government may at any time rescind any notification issued under subclause (i) or sub-clause (ii) of clause (a): Provided that the issue of a notification under this clause shall not preclude the issue of notification from time to time under sub-clause (i) or sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) in respect of the same local area
Punishment for cruelty to animals.—Whoever cruelly beats, goads, overworks, illtreats, or tortures or causes or procures to be cruelly beaten, goaded, overworked, ill-treated or tortured any animal shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with both. 94. Punishment for willful trespass.—(1) Whoever without satisfactory excuse willfully enters or remains in or upon any dwelling house or premises or any land or ground attached thereto, or on any ground, building, monument or structure belonging to Government or appropriated to public purposes, or on any vehicle or vessel, shall, on conviction, whether he causes any actual damage or not, be punished with fine which may extend to twenty rupees. (2) Any Police Officer may, on the information of any person in possession or in charge of any dwelling house, premises, or land or ground attached thereto, or of any ground, building, monument or structure belonging to Government, arrest without a warrant any person alleged to have committed therein or thereon any offence punishable under sub-section (1) of this section.

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Anik

Anik

Responded 2 months ago

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A.Dear client,
Generally Indian law is way too much sensitive when it comes to animals i.e. dog / cats in housing societies. RWAs cannot ask for the removal or dislocation of street dogs and neither can they levy fines on the owners of dogs/cats. They can only request for their sterilization and vaccination, so that their population growth is curbed, as per the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001, drafted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of India.
Thank you.

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