Mumbai : The Bombay high court on Monday advised parties seeking the implementation of the new law banning the sale and possession of beef not to precipitate the matter and make it a religious or prestige issue.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and A R Joshi was hearing a petition filed by the Bharatiya Govansh Rakshan Sanvardhan Parishad seeking that the new law be enforced.
Applications have also been filed by the Bombay Suburban Beef Dealers’ Welfare Association. Besides, the Union government has urged the high court to add the Centre as a party in the case.
The HC had pointed out last week that the law would come into effect only after the state government published it in the official gazette. The Maharashtra government told the court that it had notified the new law. Further, the BMC informed it that since its orders last week, the slaughter of bulls and bullocks had been stopped at the Deonar abattoir.
The judges said that since the law had come into effect, “law will take its own course and the authorities are duty-bound to take action”. The court added that it would look into the aspect of interpretation of the law.
President Pranab Mukherjee last month gave his sanction to changes in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While earlier the slaughter of cows was banned, the new rule adds bulls and bullocks to that list. Now, anyone selling beef or found in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.
The HC had on March 3 directed the police commissioner and civic chief to ensure that the law banning the slaughter was not violated and action was taken against those breaking the law. On March 5, however, the court said the law could be enforced only after it was published in the official gazette. The state issued the notification the same evening, hours after the HC order. The court also allowed safe passage to livestock, housed at the Deonar abattoir, allowing dealers to take out the animals.
Source : Times Of India