The Bombay High Court on Monday disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking enforcement of the beef ban in Maharashtra, observing that the State government’s law in this regard was already in place.
After hearing lengthy arguments about the ambiguity surrounding the date of the government notification, the court kept that matter open.
The division bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and A.R. Joshi said aggrieved beef traders were free to file a separate litigation before the court.
Bhartiya Gauvansh Rakshan Sanvardhan Parishad had filed the PIL in the first week of March. It said the President’s office had given its nod to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, but the State government had not yet implemented it.
The petitioners said that the new Act could not be enforced till it was widely publicised. A gazette notification was issued by the government on March 4. But they received a copy only on March 9. There was a State crackdown on beef traders even before the new legislation was notified, they alleged.
“The government has to widely circulate the notification and make it accessible to the public before implementing it,” senior advocate Yusuf Muchhala, appearing on behalf of the beef traders, had argued last week. He said the beef traders had paid for the cattle and other property and the petitioners now wanted them seized.