The Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday put the Haryana government on notice on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the Haryana Gau Seva Ayog for ordering to collect samples from roadside vendors in Mewat district to check for beef.
A week ago, advocate Haseen from Mewat had sought directions to the Haryana government and the Haryana Gau Seva Ayog to call off their “biryani policing”, which, he said , is a “brazen attempt to polarise communities and give rise to sectarian violence.”
After hearing the arguments, a Division Bench comprising Justices S S Saron and Lisa Gill said: “The manner in which they go about by overawing public, it appears he (petitioner) is aggrieved.”
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Directing the Haryana government’s counsel to reply by October 6, the court said, “We just want assurance from the state that everything will be done as per law and not which may create any kind of disharmony.”
The court said the state authorities can go for checking food adulteration but as per the provision of Section 15 of The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, the competent authority for that are food inspectors or medical practitioners and not the Gau Seva Ayog.
The Haryana Gau Seva Ayog had on August 24 ordered to collect biryani samples from shops and markets in Mewat and Nuh on suspicion that they serve beef. The petitioner had submitted that the Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, which does not have the permission to check samples, had found all the seven samples positive for beef.
Petitioner’s counsel Mohammad Arshad submitted that Haryana Gau Seva Ayog’s “biryani policing” is a clear violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India under Articles 14, 19, 21 and 25.