The Bombay High Court said on Thursday that imposing a ban on animal slaughter and sale of meat for four days during the Jain festival ‘Paryushan’ was not feasible in a metropolitan city like Mumbai and sought response from the Maharashtra government and the municipal body on a petition challenging it.
A division bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a petition filed by Bombay Mutton Dealers Association challenging Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) decision to ban the sale of meat for four days — September 10, 13, 17 and 18 — during the festival.
Covers mutton, chicken
While the ban on September 10 and 17 was as per the government’s directives, the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-run BMC imposed it on 13 and 18. The ban covers only the sale of mutton and chicken.
“Mumbai is a metropolitan city. Such straight ban on meat cannot be a formula. Ban is on slaughter and sale of the meat. What about other sources? What about packaged meat that is already available in the market?” the court asked.
The court suggested if the Jain community had a problem with animals being slaughtered in the open and displayed in shops, a direction can be issued against it.
The court posted the matter for hearing on Friday and asked the State government and the BMC to file short affidavits.
The court also sought to know from the civic body under which provision of law it imposed such a ban.
The petitioners have claimed that the decision wass unconstitutional as it affects the livelihood of a section of people and favours a small percentage of population. It also goes against the secular fabric of the Constitution, they have said.