Bombay HC allows possession of beef in Maharashtra, but upholds decision on cow and bullock slaughter

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Mumbai | Updated: May 6, 2016 1:13:08 PM

Beef ban: The Bombay High Court upheld Maharashtra govt's decision to ban slaughter of bullocks in the state. However, it struck down the section in Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which criminalises possession of beef brought from outside Maharashtra.

beef ban, beef ban in maharashtra , beef ban in india , mumbai high courtBeef ban: As per the Act, slaughter attracts a five-year jail-term and Rs 10,000 fine while possession of meat of bull or bullock attracts one-year in jail and Rs 2,000 fine. (Reuters)

The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld Maharashtra govt’s decision to ban slaughter of bullocks in the state. However, it struck down the section in Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which criminalises possession of beef brought from outside Maharashtra.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and S C Gupte had reserved the ruling in January after hearing the arguments.
In February 2015, the President granted assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act.

While the original 1976 Act banned slaughter of cows, the amendment prohibited, in addition, slaughter of bulls and bullocks and possession and consumption of their meat.

As per the Act, slaughter attracts a five-year jail-term and Rs 10,000 fine while possession of meat of bull or bullock attracts one-year in jail and Rs 2,000 fine.

During the hearing, the HC had refused to grant interim stay to the provisions penalising the possession of beef.
Arif Kapadia, a city resident, and noted lawyer Harish Jagtiani have challenged the provision which says mere possession of beef anywhere in the state is a crime.

This is arbitrary and undermines the cosmopolitan nature of the city which houses people from all religions and communities, they contend.

Other petitions have been filed by Vishal Sheth, a lawyer, and Shaina Sen, a student, contending that the ban on beef violates fundamental rights of citizens.

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