Court declines stay on beef ban for Bakr-Eid in Maharashtra

Mumbai, Sep 21 (IANS) The Bombay High Court on Monday declined to give an interim injunction on the ban on slaughter of bulls and sale of beef during Bakr-Eid.

A division bench comprising Justice A.S. Oka and Justice V.L. Achliya was hearing a bunch of petitions, seeking relaxation on the ban on slaughter of bulls and sale of beef during September 25-27.

“We are not inclined to grant any drastic interim relief at this stage, which would amount to a stay on the Maharashtra Preservation of Animals (Amendment) Act, section 5,” the judges observed.

The court also refused to accept the petitioners’ plea made by lawyers Ejaz Naqvi and Gayatri Singh that slaughter of animals and their sacrifice constituted an essential part of the Muslim community’s religious practice during the festival.

Naqvi said the state government recently banned slaughter of animals and sale of mutton and chicken for two days during the Jain festival of Paryushan.

“Then why it cannot issue a circular relaxing the ban on beef for the Muslim community,” he argued, seeking directions for temporarily suspending the provisions banning and penalising the slaughter of bulls or male calves and possession of beef under the amended law.

The matter has been posted for final hearing on October 12.

The petitions with similar prayers and challenging the Act on grounds that it violated the articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution, were filed by Aslam A. Malkani, Ishaque A. Shaikh and Huzaifa Electricwala.

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