On a plea challenging the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)’s decision to keep its sole slaughterhouse in the city closed on the occasion of a Jain festival, the Gujarat High Court Tuesday asked the petitioner why he can’t “restrain yourself from one day or two days from eating…”
A petition was filed Monday by the Kul Hind Jamiat-Al Quresh Action Committee Gujarat represented by Danish Qureshi Razawala and another person, challenging the AMC standing committee’s resolution dated August 18. The civic body’s resolution said the standing committee has given its approval to keep the slaughterhouse closed owing to Paryushan Parv between August 24 and 31, and associated festivities on September 5 and 9.
During the hearing, the court of Justice Sandeep Bhatt remarked at the outset, “…you can restrain yourself from one day or two days from eating..”
However, the petitioner appearing as party-in-person, submitted, “…It is not about restraining, it’s about fundamental rights and we cannot imagine our country with even one minute of restraining our fundamental rights. On other previous occasions, slaughterhouses were closed. Therefore, we came before this court if it passes an appropriate order, this process can be curbed for the rest of the time also.”
The court asked the petitioner to argue the matter.
The petitioner submitted, “Now there’s only one slaughterhouse in Ahmedabad city and it was done on the occasion of Paryushan, a Jain festivity. Appropriate representation was made before the AMC commissioner on August 23.”
The petitioner further argued that the operation of slaughterhouses will have “no effect on any of the persons” and as per National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) guidelines, one must consume protein-rich foods. The petitioner also submitted that in December 2021 in an oral remark by the Gujarat High Court, the AMC was reminded not to try and control the food habits of people.
After a brief hearing on Tuesday, Justice Bhatt adjourned the matter to September 2 for further hearing after the petitioner sought some time to bring more material on the court’s records.
In December 2021, coming down heavily on civic bodies in Gujarat that had ordered the removal of handcarts selling non-vegetarian food items on streets, the Gujarat High Court had questioned the state if it had any problem with what people ate. The court had ultimately disposed of the petition after the state had denied there being any specific drive to remove the non-vegetarian handcarts.