Unconstitutional, Illegal, Unenforceable, Says Kerala HC On Bylaws Barring Flatowners From Keeping Pets

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'Unconstitutional, Illegal, Unenforceable', Says Kerala HC On Bylaws Barring Flatowners From Keeping Pets

The Kerala High Court declared that the bylaws that prevent pet-owners from keeping animals in their flats, or accessing the elevators, or common facilities of the building as 'unconstitutional, illegal and unenforceable in law'.

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The Kerala High Court upheld the rights of apartment owners of residential complexes. It declared the laws restricting flat owners to keep a pet of their choice or preventing them from accessing facilities like elevators or other common facilities of the residential complex as 'illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable by law'. The division bench of Kerala High Court supported the right of the flat owners to keep a pet of their choice.

Owner Asked To Remove The Pet From Premises

The Bench led by Justices A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and P Gopinath was acting upon a petition in which the apartment owner was aggrieved by the stand of the resident association of his apartment complex that prohibited the residents from keeping pets in their flat premises.

The association had reportedly asked the pet owner to 'remove' the pet from their premises. Such a directive was also issued to three other residents of the same apartments who had also impleaded in the case.

Clauses Defeat The Objectives of Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Act

The Indian Express reported that after hearing all the stakeholders' narratives, which included the government and the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Court said that such clauses defeat the objectives of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the principles recognized by the Constitution.

The Court also said, "We have to observe that the aforesaid freedoms recognized in animals, and the co-relational right recognized in pet owners, is by no means absolute or unconditional and must necessarily be qualified by safeguards designed to protect the competing rights of others, including residents of neighbouring apartments."

The residents' associations are allowed to place reasonable restrictions that may be adhered to by the pet owners while keeping animals. Emphasizing the changing narrative of the human world, the Court said that over the years, we had moved from an eco-centric worldview to an anthropocentric one, where humans alone are seen as morally worthy and privileged enough to enjoy the bounties of nature.


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