Man wins bid to sue local council over death of his dog

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Man wins bid to sue local council over death of his dog

GEORGE TOWN: A man who lost his pet dog to city council dog catchers in 2018 and later found it dead will finally have his suit against the council heard following a decision by the appeals court today.

Chendeladevan Kuppusamy, 52, sued the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for negligence resulting in his mongrel Butcho’s death after it had been captured along Batu Ferringhi beach.

The sessions court dismissed his application on technical grounds, supporting MBPP’s claim that the dog was unlicenced when it was caught.

Chendeladevan claimed that his dog had been licenced since 2014, with a prominent dog tag visible to beachgoers who saw catchers dragging it by its neck.

The High Court then allowed an appeal for his suit to be heard, thanks to pro bono lawyers. However, the MBPP appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal.

Today, an appellate bench led by Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah and two others unanimously agreed that Chendeladevan had the right to sue the city council. Abu Bakar Jais and See Mee Chun sat with Zabidin.

Zabidin, via Zoom, said the appeal by the MBPP had no merit and ordered a trial at the sessions court. He further affirmed the High Court’s earlier decision.

Lawyers Marcia Geraldine Lopez, Fam Han En and Yu Haan Xi appeared for Chendeladevan, while Karin Lim and Nicholas Lim represented MBPP.

On Feb 28, 2018, MBPP dog catchers caught Butcho at the Batu Ferringhi public beach near the Golden Sands Resort as part of an operation to round up strays following complaints of canine attacks.

However, when Butcho was taken away, tourists rebuked the council, saying the senior dog was “docile and harmless”. There was a large-scale protest at the beach when Butcho was declared dead later by the council.

In his statement of claim, Chendeladevan said witnesses saw Butcho being dragged by the neck into a council lorry despite having a dog tag.

In its statement of defence, MBPP said the dog catchers had shot Butcho with a tranquilliser dart as allowed under the law. It said the dog fled into the sea after being shot, forcing the dog catchers to wade into the water to catch it. FMT

Man wins bid to sue local council over death of his dog

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