HC upholds Maha law on beef ban
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to stay certain provisions of a beef ban law in Maharashtra that covered even animals slaughtered outside the state but directed the government not to take any coercive action for three months against those found in possession of this meat.
The court said that as a note of caution the state shall not intrude into the privacy of citizens to find out if they are in possession of beef or any other form of meat. A division Bench, headed by Justice VM Kanade, held that no stay can be given until the final hearing of a bunch of petitions challenging the beef ban which was fixed for June 25.
The court asked the state government to file a detailed affidavit on the issue within four weeks and allowed the petitioners and intervenors to file rejoinders two weeks thereafter.
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 prohibits possession, transportation 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.
The court directed the state not to take any coercive action till pendency of petitions or three months against traders who have been found in possession or transportation of beef.
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