HC flags Delhi government on beef consumption

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Delhi government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking quashing of certain provisions of the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act which criminalises possession and consumption of beef in the national capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked counsel appearing for Delhi government to seek instruction on the issue and posted the matter for July 13.

When counsel informed the court that the Supreme Court is seized of a similar matter, the bench asked him to produce the copy of that petition and related documents before it too.

“Get instruction on this petition. Produce the copy of petition pending before the Supreme Court on the same issue and responses filed by the government on that issue,” said the court.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO working for development of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, saying the “right to eat the food of one’s choice is an integral part of the right to life and liberty”.

The Constitution of India mandates the state not to make a law towards enforcement of a particular religious practice, said the plea.

“The prohibition on possession and consumption of beef per se as under the Cattle Preservation Act is in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners and other persons similarly situated as it infringes their personal liberty,” it said.

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