Karnataka High Court Rejects Ban on ’23 Ferocious Dogs’ Deemed by the Central Government

In a recent landmark decision, the Karnataka High Court invalidated a circular issued by the Central government aimed at banning 23 breeds of dogs labeled as ‘ferocious.’ Justice M Nagaprasanna, presiding as a single judge, delivered the verdict, emphasizing the necessity for proper consultation and adherence to legal procedures.

The circular issued by the Central government had sparked controversy by targeting specific breeds of dogs deemed hazardous to human life. However, the court found procedural flaws, noting the absence of stakeholder consultation and the committee responsible for the decision not complying with relevant laws.

Justice Nagaprasanna underscored the lack of transparency and legality in the decision-making process. He asserted that the ban imposed by the circular exceeded existing regulations’ scope and couldn’t be justified without proper recommendations from a duly constituted committee. Consequently, the court’s ruling nullified the circular, deeming it contrary to the law.

Crucially, the court clarified that its decision didn’t preclude the Central government from revisiting the issue through proper channels. It encouraged the government to engage in meaningful consultations with stakeholders, including organizations certifying dog breeds and animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The court emphasized the importance of responsible pet ownership in any future action on this matter. It called for pet owners to be held accountable for their animals’ well-being and any harm caused to others. This emphasis on accountability reflects a broader societal concern for both human and animal safety and welfare.

The ruling stemmed from a petition filed by a professional dog handler and a Rottweiler owner, challenging the lack of consultation and transparency in the decision-making process. Their advocate, Swaroop Anand P, argued before the High Court, highlighting the arbitrary nature of the circular and its discriminatory impact on certain dog breeds.

The Central government’s circular directed all states and union territories to ban 23 specific dog breeds, labeling them as ‘ferocious’ and dangerous to human life. This directive followed assurances made to the Delhi High Court regarding concerns over licensing potentially dangerous dog breeds.

However, the petitioners contended that singling out specific breeds was unjust and failed to address the root causes of dog attacks. They argued that responsible ownership and proper training were more effective measures for preventing aggression incidents.

The court’s decision reflects a balanced approach to addressing public safety concerns while safeguarding pet owners’ rights and animal welfare. By rejecting the blanket ban on certain dog breeds, the court has opened the door for a more nuanced and inclusive dialogue on responsible pet ownership and community safety.

In conclusion, the Karnataka High Court’s ruling serves as a reminder of the importance of due process and consultation in policymaking. It underscores the need for evidence-based approaches to addressing complex issues such as pet ownership and public safety. Moving forward, it is essential for all stakeholders to collaborate in promoting responsible pet ownership and ensuring the well-being of both humans and animals alike.

High Court Slaps Fine on Newspaper Over Incomplete Judge Inquiry Report

The Karnataka High Court recently issued a ruling concerning a news report published by The New Indian Express. The report covered an inquiry into a senior judicial officer accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship. As a consequence of the way the story was handled, the court imposed a substantial fine of ₹10 lakh on the newspaper.

The court noted a crucial omission in the report: it failed to mention that the full bench of the High Court did not accept the inquiry report. This omission skewed the presentation of facts. Justice NS Sanjay Gowda, who presided over the case, emphasized that the article wrongly portrayed the accusations against the judge as established facts. Such misrepresentation could severely damage the reputations of the individuals involved.

The judge stressed the importance of protecting the privacy of the accused, especially when allegations have not been proven. He highlighted the unfairness of publishing sensitive information without affording the accused parties an opportunity to defend themselves.

The case involved a retired senior judicial officer facing allegations of misconduct with staff and financial irregularities. Although some charges were proven, the Administrative Committee appointed to review the matter did not accept the inquiry report. Unfortunately, the newspaper neglected to include this crucial information in its report.

Shortly after the article’s publication, the full court of the High Court dropped the charges against the judge. This decision underscored the inadequacy of the newspaper’s reporting and its failure to present a balanced view of the situation.

The court expressed disappointment in The New Indian Express’s conduct, stating that it fell short of the standards expected from a responsible newspaper. The judge criticized the reporters and editors for their role in publishing the article, noting their lack of sensitivity and professionalism.

The court highlighted that the decision not to accept the inquiry report had been made six months prior to the article’s publication. Despite this, the newspaper failed to include this crucial development in its report. The court found it perplexing that such vital information was overlooked, especially considering the newspaper’s responsibility to provide accurate and comprehensive coverage.

The court emphasized that the newspaper could not absolve itself of responsibility by claiming ignorance of the Administrative Committee’s decision. It stressed that a responsible newspaper should have ensured that all relevant facts were presented in its reporting, particularly in sensitive matters like this one.

As a consequence of its poor reporting, the court imposed a significant financial penalty on the owner of The New Indian Express. The fine, amounting to ₹10 lakh, is to be paid to the Karnataka Legal Services Authority within two months.

Additionally, the court directed the High Court to conduct an inquiry into how the inquiry report was leaked to the newspaper. This investigation aims to determine whether any breaches of confidentiality occurred and to prevent similar incidents in the future.

In conclusion, the Karnataka High Court’s decision to penalize The New Indian Express serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible journalism. The court’s ruling underscores the need for accuracy, fairness, and sensitivity in reporting, particularly when dealing with sensitive legal matters.

Court Denies Wife’s Maintenance Claim Due to Adulterous Relationship: Karnataka High Court Ruling

The Karnataka High Court recently issued a significant ruling regarding a wife’s eligibility to claim maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act). In a case presided over by Justice Rajendra Badamikar, a woman’s revision petition seeking maintenance was dismissed.

The court’s decision hinged on the wife’s alleged involvement in an extramarital relationship with another individual. According to the court, when a spouse engages in an extramarital affair and resides with the person involved, it disqualifies her from claiming maintenance. The judgment emphasized that to be eligible for maintenance, a claimant must demonstrate honesty.

The court took note of the petitioner’s accusations against her husband, alleging that he had an illicit relationship with another woman. However, these allegations were contested, and the court could not disregard the petitioner’s own extramarital affair.

Previously, the petitioner had filed a petition under the DV Act, seeking protection, residential orders, and financial benefits. A magistrate granted her a protection order along with maintenance, rent, and compensation. Nevertheless, the husband successfully appealed this decision, and their marriage had already been annulled by a family court due to adultery and cruelty.

Upon reviewing the case, the High Court found that the magistrate had failed to consider crucial aspects when awarding maintenance and compensation. In contrast, the sessions judge had rightfully rejected the petitioner’s claim, considering her adulterous conduct. Consequently, the High Court dismissed the revision petition, finding no errors in the sessions judge’s decision.

This ruling underscores the principle that spouses seeking maintenance must demonstrate honesty and adhere to the legal requirements of marriage. In cases involving adultery and extramarital affairs, individuals may not be eligible for maintenance under the DV Act. The judgment establishes an important legal precedent, highlighting the significance of maintaining fidelity and honesty within a marriage to access legal remedies such as maintenance.