UPDATED: June 28, 2021 11:18 AM IST
The Mumbai city civil court has permanently restrained a family of an upmarket housing society in Worli from feeding birds from their balcony, holding that it creates a nuisance for neighbours.
In 2011, a senior citizen couple had filed a petition against their neighbours who lived right above their flat in a multi-storey housing complex.
The issue dates back to 2009 when the family living above the couple erected a huge platform outside their balcony for feeding grains and water to birds. Initially, the grains offered to the birds started falling into the channels of the sliding window of the couple’s house.
As the size of the grains was very small, it was very difficult to remove them and also difficult to operate sliding windows. Further, the elderly couple also claimed that pigeon droppings would fall on the window, causing a foul smell and odour.
The couple added that the food grains fed to the birds were full of small insects, which also fell on their balcony. The insects also entered the bedroom of the couple and disturbed their sleep in the nighttime. The bird-feeding also led to skin diseases for them.
The applicants also requested the family living above them but they paid no heed and said that “no issue should be made of such a trivial but a compassionate deed.” The elderly couple “also narrated the instance of grains falling from the upper floor in their drawing-room,” but the family described the same as “neighbourly tolerance and co-operation.”
Finally, in 2011, the couple filed a suit against their neighbours. Judge AH Laddhad, after hearing both sides this month, concluded, “I am of the considered opinion that the conduct” of the family “in feeding birds by putting grains in a metal tray would be causing a nuisance” to the couple as their balcony is just a downside to the balcony” of the family.
Further, the court noted that during the course of the trial, the defendants had shown their willingness to feed birds at some other place, if society allocated the same, but it has not been done.
“This is really very unfortunate for the act of kindness the defendant has to beg. Society is also party to the present suit. If possible they should consider the request of the defendant by allocating a particular place for birds feeding,” Judge AH Laddhad said.