Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bombay HC upholds Maharashtra govt's beef ban

 Bombay high court on Wednesday refused to stay Maharashtra government's ban on consumption of beef, but warned the state government against any coercive steps for its possession.

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, enforced last month by the state government, bans slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks and also consumption and possession of their meat.

Three petitions were filed challenging sections 5 (d) and 9 (a) of the Act, which prohibit possession and consumption of meat of cow, bulls and bullocks even if the animals have been slaughtered outside Maharashtra.

According to the petitions, this puts a ban on import of meat. The petitions sought a stay on these sections.

Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, appearing for one of the petitioners, had argued that such a ban on consumption was violative of the fundamental right of a person to have his choice of food.

"Section 5 (d) is extremely invasive, drastic and intrusive. There is no real justification behind making possession and consumption of beef a cognisable offence. The government should not arbitrarily invade the rights of citizens," Chinoy had argued.

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