Kochi: Many housing societies, apartment associations and RWAs' decision to bar residents from keeping pets in their homes has been challenged in the Kerala High Court by an animal welfare organisation, which has contended that banning pets was "illegal, arbitrary and unfair".
The PIL has been moved by People for Animals (PFA), contending that "such associations cannot frame bye laws or amend them in a manner at variance with the law of the country even by obtaining a consensus or by a complete majority".
In its petition, filed through advocates K S Hariharaputhran and Bhanu Thilak, PFA said that it has received plenty of complaints from pet owners/pet parents against the ban imposed by various apartment associations, housing societies and residents welfare associations (RWAs) across the state.
"Complaints were also received as to the notices and intimations given to pet owners/pet parents from such associations, asking them to abandon their pets," the petition said.
PFA further contended that under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, "it is an offense to abandon a pet without any reasonable cause and in any circumstances which render it likely that the pet will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst".
The petitioner organisation said that the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in 2015 issued guidelines which advise pet owners to ensure that their pets are not a source of nuisance to others, but it also made clear that no amount of pressure from any source should lead to abandonment of the pets and that doing so is a violation of the law.
The plea seeks a direction to all the apartment associations, RWAs and housing societies to comply with the AWBI guidelines of 2015. It also seeks a direction to the local self government bodies to resolve issues regarding ban on keeping pets.