Days ahead of Ramzan Eid, a new petition has been filed in the Bombay high court, challenging a ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks and transporting beef in Maharashtra.
The petition filed by Ansari Mohammed Umar, a dealer in bulls and bullocks, and Shaikh Sadik Babulal, a butcher, will come up for hearing before a division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice BP Colabawalla.
The duo has challenged the validity of the provisions in the amended Maharashtra Preservation of Animals Act, 1976, which prohibit slaughter of bulls and bullocks and transporting beef.
Originally, the legislation was enacted to preserve cow and thus prohibited slaughter of cows. But, an amendment in 1995, which was recently enforced, prohibits slaughter of bulls and bullocks and all kinds of dealing in beef as also its export and import.
The petition makes it clear that it is not challenging the ban imposed on cow slaughter. “We are challenging the ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks,” states the petition, adding, “The amended Act is against Article 19 of the Constitution of India.”
The duo has sought a stay on prohibition of slaughter of bulls and bullocks which are not suitable for milching and breeding, or which cannot be used as draught cattle or for any agricultural purposes. The petition has also sought police protection to those people who are into the business of slaughter of these animals and those who transport their meat.
The petition came up for hearing before a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice AK Menon which directed it to be posted before a division bench headed by Justice VM Kanade which is already hearing a bunch of petitions on the issue.
The high court has refused to stay the ban imposed on slaughter of cow progeny and on import and export of beef but had asked the government to exercise restraint while handling such cases.