The state government has decided to take the beef ban fight to the Supreme Court by challenging the Bombay high court’s order allowing people to store and consume beef brought from outside the state. The apex court late last week served a notice to the state government on the beef ban.
The government took the decision after getting a go-ahead from advocate general Rohit Deo and the state law and judiciary department. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis recently cleared the proposal and orders have been issued, government sources confirmed.
The BJP-led government in the state had banned the sale, possession and consumption of beef in March 2015, amending the law that allowed the slaughter of old bulls and bullocks with permission from local civic authorities.
The decision was challenged in the high court, which on May 6 this year upheld the beef ban under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. The HC, however, allowed people to store and consume beef that was brought from outside Maharashtra because there is no such prohibition imposed in many other states.
“We will challenge the high court’s decision because the relaxation provided by the court defeats the purpose of ban — protection of cow and its progeny,” said a senior official, on condition of anonymity.
The court has scrapped section 5D and 9B of the amended act. Section 5D prevents citizens from possessing and consuming bovine flesh, while section 9B imposes a burden on the accused to prove he is innocent, rather than imposing the burden of proving the violation on the prosecution.
The officer said they will challenge the scrapping of both the sections by filing a special leave petition (SLP). Nishant Katneshwarkar, state government advocate in the SC, confirmed the decision, but refused to divulge any details.