Don’t make a religious issue out of beef ban, says HC

State government presents gazette notification; no relief for beef dealers.

| Mumbai | Updated: March 10, 2015 12:00:03 am
Been ban, bombay high court, maharashtra beef ban, devendra fadnavis Several states like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat have banned cow slaughter. Maharashtra is the latest state to put in place such a ban.

Observing that the issue relating to beef ban should not be made into a religious or prestige issue, the Bombay High Court (HC) on Monday said that its earlier orders “to deal with animals in accordance with law” was self-explanatory and no further orders needed to be passed in this matter.

The state government submitted the official gazette regarding beef ban before the court after it had earlier observed that the beef ban could not come into effect till a notification was published in the official gazette.

Last Thursday, senior advocate Yusuf Muchhala, who represented the petitioners, the Bombay Suburban Beef Dealers Welfare Association, pointed out that even though presidential assent has been granted to the amendment, it has not been published in the official gazette, and hence cannot be brought into effect according to the provisions of the Maharashtra General Clauses Act, 1904.

“The Legislative Assembly has passed orders relating to beef ban and the rule of court is to interpret this,” said Justices V M Kanade and A R Joshi in their oral observations, adding that the police can take action according to the law relating to the bulls which had been handed over to the butchers.

The court has also asked that Union of India be made party in this case. The matter will come up for hearing on Wednesday. The court was hearing a petition filed by the Bharatiya Gouvansh Rakshan Sanrakshan Parishad. On March 3, the court had directed the city police commissioner and civic chief to ensure bulls and bullocks are not slaughtered at the Deonar abattoir and other places across the city.

The President had given a nod to the 1995 amendment to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976 — which prevents the slaughter of bulls and bullocks — on February 26. The BMC, meanwhile, said it had taken necessary steps to implement the court directive. Under the new law, sale or possession of beef can attract a jail term of five years and a fine of Rs 10,000.

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