The Allahabad high court on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to place before it the order or instruction under which the drive for closure of illegal meat shops was being undertaken. The government has until April 3 to reply.
A day after he was sworn in as the chief minister on March 19, Yogi Adityanath ordered a crackdown on illegal slaughters houses, butcher shops and mechanised abattoirs.
Meat traders are on an indefinite strike in the state, the country’s biggest meat producer, against the BJP government’s move.
The court also asked that any instruction to the Lucknow municipal corporation, too, should be put on record.
A division bench of justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and justice Sanjay Harkauli issued the orders on a petition filed by Shahabuddin and nine meat traders.
Seeking directives for the renewal of licences of their meat shops, the petitioners alleged that the matter was urgent as they were being prevented from carrying on their trade.
Their businesses were forced shut though their licences were pending for renewal.
Their counsel, GC Sinha, said the licences had not been renewed since 2014. “The petitioners had moved a writ petition in the high court in 2015 and the court had sought reply from the respondents,” Sinha said.
Delay in renewal of licences and various approvals have been cited by several shop and slaughterhouse owners whose units have been shut down.