Nagpur doctor gets 6 month jail after pet dog bites 9 year old boy
Nagpur: A 2014 case of a pet dog biting a 9-year-old boy has landed the owner of the dog, a practising doctor from Nagpur, in jail, after the court convicted the doctor for negligence in handling the pet and hence endangering the life of the victim.
A Judicial magistrate first class(JMFC)court has pronounced a sentence of 6 months simple jail term to the doctor. While convicting the doctor for the offenses under various sections of IPC, the JMFC court presided by JD Jadhao also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on her. This amount will be handed over to the child's mother who had lodged a complaint under section 357 of CrPC.
The doctor, a resident of Shrikrishna Nagar in Nagpur city, had claimed that she did not own the dog but the court ruled out the claim citing witness accounts which proved that she was the owner of the dog.
The incident Goes Back to September 30, 2014, when a case was registered at Nandavan police station after a woman alleged that her 9-year-old son was bitten by a dog. The incident happened at 8.45 am when he had gone with his friend to feed the dogs. He sustained bite injuries on the neck, shoulder, and legs. The boy was rushed to a hospital in Sakkaradara for treatment.
After examination of witnesses and documentary evidence, the police officers found out that incident had happened due to the negligence of the owner of the dog. A charge sheet was later filed in the case under various charges.
Nearly seven-year of court proceedings culminated into the court convicting the doctor under section 289 (negligent conduct with respect to animals) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.
As per the Section 289, "whoever knowingly or negligently omits to take such order with any animal in his possession as is sufficient to guard against any probable danger to human life, or any probable danger of grievous hurt from such animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months".
According to a report in India Today, in the court the government pleader argued that the case of prosecution has been well established and hence, the accused should be convicted for the offence charged against her.
However, the doctor's lawyer argued that the case of the prosecution has not been established against the accused beyond all reasonable doubt and allegations are vague and omnibus in nature, adds the report.
"Ownership of dog is not proved by the prosecution. Evidence on record is not sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused. There are major contradictions in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses. Therefore, the benefit of the doubt be given to the accused," argued Pinjarkar.
Indiatoday report goes on to state that Magistrate JD Jadhao ruled out the claim of the accused doctor that the dog was a stray as two witnesses who worked as dog catchers with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation had said that they had caught the dog after the incident from the residence of the accused doctor and that she herself had signed the documents.
After hearing arguments from defendant and prosecution, the judge sentenced the accused doctor to 6 months of imprisonment.
The accused had sought relief and pleaded for only a fine to be imposed but the prosecution sought maximum punishment.
The prosecution argued that "Due to the negligent act of the accused the victim's life is in danger till date because of the infection of dog's bite and it may increase at any time within the span of seven years," adds the report.
The court has also said that if the convict fails to pay the compensation, then she will have to undergo an additional six months imprisonment.
The doctor was also convicted under Section 338 of IPC, which states that "whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to Rs 1,000, or with both", adds TOI