Two New Petitions Filed Against Maharashtra’s Total Beef Ban in Supreme Court


Representational image. Credit: PTI

Representational image. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Two fresh petitions were filed today in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay high court order which upheld the ban on beef that the Maharashtra government had imposed through an enactment.

The pleas, filed by All India Jamiatul Quresh of Maharashtra and Delhi respectively, allege that political interests influenced the politicisation of the issue of slaughtering cows.

The pleas also state that the petitioning organisations respect cows and calves but members of Qureshi community should be allowed to slaughter bulls and bullocks who are over 16 years old as they are of no use to farmers.

The Bombay high court upheld the beef ban, which was imposed by the Maharashtra state government after the enactment of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act – banning the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, in addition to cows.

However, while striking down relevant sections of the Act, the high court said that mere possession of cattle meat cannot invite criminal action.

Earlier, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Maharashtra government on a separate plea which challenged the high court’s verdict. The SC notice held that mere possession of beef or the meat from animals slaughtered outside the state cannot invite criminal action.

The plea was filed by Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh, which told the apex court that the organisation was challenging part of the high court’s May 6. The plea in question said that provisions of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act infringed on the right to privacy of citizens and were unconstitutional in nature.

The high court order followed on the heels of a number of petitions which challenged the provision of the law which says that the mere possession of beef in any place in Maharashtra is a crime.

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