The Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to UP Minister of State for Textile and Sericulture Mehboob Ali to explain his ‘diktat’ on selling beef at a fixed price in Amroha,headquarters of the Jyotiba Phule Nagar district.
The court asked the district magistrate to ensure that beef traders are not harassed. It has also sought a detailed report on the matter from the district management.
The case will come up for hearing on May 2.
Passing the order on Thursday,a division bench of Justices Amitava Lala and P K S Baghel said the notice should be sent to the minister through speed post and handed over personally. The court added that if the affidavits,reports and responses sought are not furnished on the next date of hearing,it would be compelled to proceed without them.
Farid Ahmed Qureshi,counsel for petitioners Noor Mohammad and others,said: “Our main prayer before the court is that the minister does not have the right to interfere in the trade. Also,he does not have the power to fix the rates or take action with regard to licences. We have informed the court that the traders were being harassed as a result of such an order.”
The minister,hailing from Amroha,issuing a diktat on April 1 that beef would be sold at only Rs 70 kg and anybody violating it would face cancellation of licence. He also reportedly took a round of the market and misbehaved with shopkeepers who had not obeyed his orders.
Counsel Qureshi said that usually beef rates across the state range from Rs 110 to 120 per kg and it keeps changing. “Also,the minister’s order only pertained to those selling beef,” he added.