Friday, May 6, 2016

Beef ban: Bombay High Court strikes down criminal prosecution for possessing beef in Maharashtra

The Bombay High Court on Friday struck down three sections of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which was enforced in March 2015, thereby holding that criminal prosecution for possessing beef is unconstitutional under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
While striking down sections, 5 (d) and section 9(b) of the Act and reading down section 5 (c), the court said it was in contravention of provisions of the right to privacy. The court has allowed the state to prosecute only after ascertaining whether the person having beef was in conscious possession of it. Technically, this means people cannot bring beef from outside Maharashtra, but if brought, authorities will have to ascertain whether it was consciously brought and prosecution will follow thereafter. Also, the slaughter of bulls/bullocks will not continue in the state.

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