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Monday, August 02, 2021

Bombay HC asks Bhiwandi, Thane civic bodies to ensure no animal sacrifices at illegal slaughterhouses on Bakri Eid

HC stays BNMC commissioner's decision of approving 38 temporary slaughterhouses and asks police to take action in case of violations.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
July 21, 2021 2:05:55 pm
Goats on sale at Thane's Mumbra market on the occasion of Eid. (Express File Photo by Deepak Joshi)

The Bombay High Court in two different petitions on Tuesday directed the commissioner of Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC) and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to ensure that sacrificing animals does not take place in illegal temporary slaughterhouses on Eid-ul Adha or Bakri Eid to be celebrated between July 21 and 23 and same be carried out in licensed and recognised slaughterhouses only.

The orders were passed in two separate petitions that expressed apprehension of animals being illegally slaughtered without complying with rules and regulations.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni passed an order while hearing a PIL by NGO Jiv Maitri Trust filed through advocates Raju Gupta, Hare Krishna Mishra and Mukesh Gupta challenging the July 15 decision of the commissioner of BNMC.

The Court noted that the BNMC commissioner on July 15 approved 38 temporary slaughterhouses for the festival and observed that the same were not ‘recognised’ or having required licenses as per past Supreme Court decisions and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (slaughterhouse) Rules. ”

Advocate N R Bubna representing the civic authority opposed the plea and said that the commissioner was aware of the rules and the temporary slaughterhouses will be connected with the permanent and licensed slaughterhouses and facilities were being made available to avoid sacrifices in public places.

The court, however, observed that the deputy commissioner of the animal husbandry department had opposed the move of the commissioner and had refused to approve temporary slaughterhouses stating that slaughtering can be undertaken only in terms of relevant provisions of law and yet the municipal commissioner on special grounds of the Covid-19 pandemic being on the wane and the inadequacy of licensed slaughterhouses passed the order without obtaining any permission from state government and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).

“The order of the Commissioner, prima facie, appears to be illegal, arbitrary and high handed. We have no other option to stay the operation of the impugned decision and no effect should be given to it without permission of the Court. We make it abundantly clear that no slaughtering shall be allowed except in those licensed and sanctioned slaughterhouses and in case of violation of relevant laws, appropriate action should be taken by the civil, municipal administration and Police,” the bench noted in the order and posted the further hearing to next week.

Meanwhile, hearing a writ petition filed by a volunteer of NGO Gau Gyan Foundation alleging illegal livestock market and slaughtering in Mumbra area, another bench of the high court sought response from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and also directed the commissioner of police, Thane to check that no illegal slaughter of animals takes place within Mumbra Police station area.

Advocate J S Kini for the petitioner submitted before a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar that the organisation had lodged reports with Mumbra police station against illegal slaughtering on ensuing Bakri Eid. However, no action had been taken by police, hence the plea in HC. Kini apprehended that there is an imminent possibility of animals being illegally slaughtered and sought interim relief of strict action by the authorities against the same.

After hearing the submissions, the bench posted the further hearing to August 6 and noted in the order, “We are of the view that the slaughtering of animals ought to be in conformity with the licenses issued by the competent authorities and specified at designated places and at specified hours. In view of this, we direct respondent Commissioner of police, Thane to check or ensure that no illegal slaughter of animals takes place within the jurisdiction of Mumbra police station, Thane.”

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