The Bombay high court (HC) will decide on April 6 whether to grant any interim relief to a petitioner who has challenged a provision in a Maharashtra act banning the possession of flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered outside the state.
In his PIL, Mumbai resident Arif Kapadia challenged section 5D of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which prohibits possession of the meat of cow, bull and bullock slaughtered outside the state.
He has sought the court to grant interim relief by directing the government to not initiate action against any person found in the possession of such meat.
Kapadia also challenged section 9(A) of the Act which stipulates imprisonment of one year and fine up to Rs 2000 for contravention of the provisions pertaining to the possession of beef.
According to the petitioner, sections 5D and 9A of the Act are illegal, arbitrary and violative of the fundamental rights of the citizens and need to be struck down.
"By banning possession, the state government has effectively banned import of meat in Maharashtra. The Act and its provisions can be applied only to cattle slaughtered in Maharashtra. The law enacted by this state cannot apply to cattle slaughtered outside. These sections banning possession is excessive, arbitrary and draconian," the petition states.
A division bench of justices VM Kanade and AR Joshi said it would hear the petition on April 6.