Two persons – both Hindus, have approached the Bombay High Court, challenging the new Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which bans slaughter and consumption of beef, stating that the action infringes upon their fundamental rights.
Advocate Vishal Seth and student Shaina Sen petitioned the High Court seeking protection of their fundamental right to quality of life. “We are Hindus who are consumers of beef, which is now part of our diet and nutrition sources. The ban on beef and criminalising its sale and possession violates fundamental rights of citizens,” the duo said in their petition.
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The petition says that apart from violation of the right to quality of life under Article 21, the ban also violates Article 29 that bars discrimination against minorities by race, language, religion or culture. A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and A R Joshi is likely to take up the petition for hearing next week.
The court will on Monday (March 23) pass its order on a petition filed by Bhartiya Gauvansh Rakshan Sanvardhan Parishad seeking immediate enforcement of the law.
Beef dealers had also approached the High Court seeking relief. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act okayed by the President in February and notified earlier this month by the state government bans the slaughter of bulls and bullock, along with the earlier ban on slaughter of cows. Anyone found selling beef or in possession can be jailed for up to five years and fined Rs 10,000.