Taking note of the plight of the beef dealers in the state, the Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday sought to know if the government was willing to grant “some reasonable time” to butchers to dispose of the remaining carcasses and live animals, even though the ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks has come into effect.
“The Assembly has every right to pass legislations, but the amendment was passed in 1995 and the presidential assent has been granted in 2015, around 20 years later,” the division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice AR Joshi said.
“In this situation, it is necessary they be given some reasonable time [to dispose of the remaining carcasses and live animals],” the judges said.
The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, which bans the slaughter of cows, was amended to include bulls and bullocks in 1995. The presidential assent to the amendment was granted on February 26, 2015.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Bhartiya Gauvansh Rakshan Sanrakshan Parishad, seeking directions to the civic and police chief to ensure bulls and bullocks are not slaughtered at Deonar abattoir or anywhere else in the city, as the law has been passed. “Let’s not act in haste,” the judges said, when the counsels for the petitioner body pointed out the presidential assent was published in the official gazette on March 4, 2015, and so the amendment has come into force from that day.
The court adjourned till Thursday, after advocate general Sunil Manohar sought time to take instructions, if the government would consider granting time to butchers and abattoirs.