The Bombay High Court issued notices to the Pune police on a plea filed by a woman, claiming that they had illegally seized her 56 pet cats.
A bench of Justices B R Gavai and B P Colabawalla directed the police to respond within three weeks to the woman’s allegations that last year they had illegally barged into her flat where the cats were kept.
The bench also directed the police to present their side on the woman’s allegations of harassment, and that some gold and other valuables too were “stolen” during their action.
The directions came when the bench was hearing a plea filed by 42-year-old Sangeeta Kapur on January 15, seeking that appropriate action be taken against the police personnel concerned.
She also urged the court to pass an interim order directing the police and the animal welfare authorities to return the cats to her.
The bench, however, refused to grant any interim relief to her on Thursday.
As per Kapurs plea, she owns two flats in Pune that she shares with her mother and sister. In one of those flats, she had housed 56 cats, mostly strays that she had rescued over time.
However, in September last year, the police and some activists allegedly “broke open” the door of the flat where the cats were housed, seized all the pets and took them to an animal shelter.
The police then booked Kapur under relevant sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act based on the allegations that she had neglected to take care of the animals.
The police accused her of keeping the cats in unhygienic conditions and thus, causing the spread of infectious diseases.