A city sessions court on Friday confirmed the conviction and one-year jail sentence of Bhadresh Pandya, 54, whose Doberman, named Shakti, attacked his neighbours in 2014, injuring a man and three children. The court also ordered the legal service authority to compensate the victims of the attack.
The incident occurred in Ashapuri Society in Ghodasar, where the dog attacked four people: Avinash Patel, his son Jay, nephew Takshil, and another child named Vyom. Following the attack, Patel lodged an FIR against Pandya for not keeping his dog on a leash. The dog attacked Patel after biting the children, causing him to fall and break his hand.
Pandya was tried by a metropolitan court, which found him guilty in January 2020 and sentenced him to one year in jail under Section 338 (causing grievous hurt and endangering human life with rash and negligent behaviour) and three months imprisonment under IPC Sections 289 (negligent conduct with regard to animal) and Section 337. The court observed that the dog posed a threat to elderly people and children. In addition to the jail sentence, Pandya was also fined Rs 1,500.
Pandya appealed against his conviction before the city sessions court. As the court had completed the hearing but had not delivered its verdict, Patel approached the high court. The high court stipulated a period within which the sessions court had to deliver the verdict.
On Friday, additional sessions judge A J Kanani upheld the conviction and sentencing. The judge agreed with the complainant’s argument that the dog had caused panic in the society since 2012-13, leaving residents, elderly people, children, and pregnant women in fear of an aggressive dog such as a Doberman. The judge also ruled that the trial court should have granted compensation to the victims. Pandya has been ordered to surrender before the metropolitan court within 30 days.