A Junior Health inspector of Ernakulam District’s Thrikkakara Municipality, AM Sajikumar, the fifth accused in the case associated with the alleged mass poisoning of stray dogs, on 28th of July 2021, approached the Kerala High Court for anticipatory bail. The applicant contends that the choice to slay the dogs was taken by the Municipality Authorities namely the Chairperson, the Secretary, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee for Health. He further contends that he was only employed to enforce the decision of the above-mentioned authorities.
In his application, he submits that a Junior Health Inspector could not take such decisions in the Municipality and that the testimony of the other accused persons to the police holding the Junior Health Inspector accountable was meant to exonerate the Chairperson and other officials of the Municipality.
The prosecution alleges that over 100 stray dogs were administered poison and discarded into the dump yard of Thrikkakara Municipality.
The applicant asserted that numerous grievances had been received by the Municipality in connection with the problems owing to the tremendous growth in the number of stray dogs. It was brought to the notice of the Standing Committee for Health, wherein the decision to regulate the stray dogs either by slaughtering them or seizing them was taken.
The Chairperson Raashid Ullampalli recommended the names of the accused to slay the dogs. The Secretary is also said to have settled the fund for the said purpose from other sources of the Municipality. The other accused were also allowed to reside in the community hall of the municipality at the behest of the secretary during the time in which they were employed. The applicant is accused of supplying poison for the purpose of executing the deed.
The anticipatory bail application submits that the claims against the applicant are untrue and incorrect. A division bench of the Kerala High Court comprising of Justice Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Gopinath P. had earlier taken note of the matter and had directed the Municipality to file an affidavit. Further, it has directed the Thrikkakara Municipality to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future and that adequate machinery to combat the situation needs to be placed.