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Post ban, HC directs BMC & police to take action against illegal slaughter

Under the new law, anyone found to be selling beef or in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.

Written by Aamir Khan | Mumbai |
Updated: March 4, 2015 12:07:58 pm

With the President giving assent to the Bill, which prohibits slaughter and sale of any cow progeny (bullocks and bulls) in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief to take action against those who carry out slaughter at Deonar abattoir. The same will be applicable across the state.

The President gave assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, on March 2 and it turned into an Act as soon as it received the assent, contends a petition moved in the high court. Under the new law, anyone found to be selling beef or in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.

Saying that there was “statutory legal obligation” on the authorities, Justices V M Kanade and A R Joshi directed the officials to ‘ensure’ that there was no slaughtering of bulls and bullocks at Deonar and other places in the state. “Action should be taken in case of illegal slaughter,” the HC said.

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The petition stresses that cow slaughter was prohibited under Section 5 of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976. “The new Act will include bullocks and bulls after the President gave his assent on March 2. There should be a complete ban, however, around 300 bulls were slaughtered last night at the Deonar abattoir,” contended the petitioners in court.

The petition, filed by city-based Vinod Kothari, said without an official direction to all authorities concerned, the Deonar abattoir and other slaughterhouses might go ahead with slaughtering of cattle that have already arrived.

The lawyer, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, said the municipal commissioner told them that he was unaware of the development. The petition also stated that on March 2, the day the President gave assent, Deonar slaughterhouse received 1,200 to 1,500 bullocks.
He said though the complete ban was effective March 2, there was no adherence to the new law. “The Deonar abattoir continues to slaughter animals, though the new law lays action against those who will be found in possession of such meat,” said one of the lawyers representing the petitioner.

“Send all bullocks, calves and other cattle under the Act to gaushala (cow shelters). Restrain the competent authority or veterinary doctor from issuing certificates determining fitness of animals,” the petition seeks.

The court also granted time to the state government to take instructions and posted the matter for hearing on Wednesday.

aamir.khan@expressindia.com

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