Around 36 beef dealers associations across Maharashtra filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the beef ban. The dealers want the court to permit the slaughter of cattle — bulls and bullocks, not cows — of more than 16 years of age. They said that after the age of 16, cattle are too old to be used for farming and other activities.
The petition has challenged the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Animals Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2015 that bans the slaughter, possession, consumption and import of beef in the state.
In March last year, the state government had banned the slaughtering of bulls, bullocks and cows by amending the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1976 that was challenged in the Bombay high court.
Disposing a public interest litigation against the ban, the high court ,in its order on May 6, upheld the beef ban but allowed people to preserve and consume beef brought into Maharastra from outside the state. A separate petition filed by the Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh challenged this order. On the strength of this,the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Maharashtra government and the central government.
Mohammad Ali Qureshi, a beef dealer from Mumbai and one of the petitioners in the case, said this is why they have filed a petition in the Supreme Court.