The Bombay High Court will pass an order next week on a petition challenging a clause against possession of beef in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act.
Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, representing one of the petitioners, argued on Thursday that there was “no discernible public interest” behind section 5 (d) of the Act which prohibits possession of the flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered outside Maharashtra.
He said the clause was invasive and drastic. “There are no facts, no particulars, no basis [for the clause] except two lines in the State’s affidavit that it is needed to implement the Act. It smacks of arbitrariness. It is as if the State of Maharashtra wants to say, ‘stop eating beef’...,” Mr. Chinoy argued.
“Invading the citizens’ rights”
“The court’s role is important here to intervene and rescue citizens. The State purports to invade a right for no explicable reason. Citizens’ right to choice and privacy cannot be invaded upon till the State makes out a good reason. A stay on the section is necessary to maintain the rule of law and tell the Maharashtra government that it cannot arbitrarily invade the rights of citizens,” Mr. Chinoy said.
Another advocate Firoz Bharucha representing a petitioner contended that “the real object of 5 (d) is to stop the people of Maharashtra from eating beef.”
Meanwhile, the State did not consider the aspect of leather industry.