The Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought to know the exact date when the new Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which bans slaughter of bullocks and bulls, came into force. The beef traders on Wednesday told the court that it was the government's responsibility to widely publicise the law before implementing it.
They claimed that the State cracked down on the traders even before the notification of the new legislation was issued in the government gazette.
"The government has to widely circulate it and make it accessible to the public, before implementing it," senior advocate Yusuf Muchhala, appearing on behalf of the beef traders, said.
"The entire petition of the petitioners (Bhartiya Gauvansh Rakshan Sanvardhan Parishad) is premature. There is no statement from the State till date as to when this law was published," he said further.
He said that while the beef traders had obtained the cattle and the property after paying for it, the petitioners wanted to seize this property. "We have purchased it. Now, under the new law, we have to give it away to some go-shala. How can I dispose off my property like that when I don't find any offence related to this property?" he asked.
The petitioners said the government had issued the notification by March 3, and had published it on March 4.
The court thereafter sought replies from all the parties and adjourned the matter till March 12.
It had earlier refused to grant any relief to the beef traders on the grounds that the government had already issued a notification in the matter, and that the authorities were bound to implement it.