Friday, March 23, 2007

Pet Dog case drags for 10 yrs

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In India it is very common that legal court cases goes on for years together but what you would call to it, if a dispute between neighbors over a pet dog became a court case and lasted for 10 years. Ironically, it remained pending for nearly seven years in the Supreme Court.

Mohammad Rafique and Nazir Mohammad were neighbors residing at Dadapir Roja, Kachani Masjid, Jamalpura in Ahmedabad. Rafique used to object to the 'nuisance' created by Nazir's pet dog. When his complaints had no effect on the pet's owner, he persuaded the Ahmedabad municipality to trap the dog when it was moving on the street.

On the evening of May 22, 1997, Nazir confronted Rafique as to why he got his dog trapped by the civic authority. Rafique's curt reply that "the dog was creating a nuisance on the street" angered Nazir who along with his associates rained blows on him.

After the assault, Rafique walked to the police station and lodged a complaint before going to hospital. The police filed a charge sheet against Nazir and his associates accusing them of assaulting Rafique. In March 1999, the magistrate found the case to be a fight on the spur of the moment and acquitted the accused. The state appealed in the HC, challenging the acquittal. Six months later, the HC upheld the trial court verdict.

The state realized its folly in pursuing a trivial case till the HC level and declined to go any further. Dissatisfied, Rafique moved the SC challenging the HC order. Now a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, P P Naolekar and B Sudershan Reddy dismissed the case on Thursday, but not before expressing annoyance over such trivial litigation traveling up to the level of SC, meant to decide important constitutional issues and questions.

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