HC asks Thane, Bhiwandi civic chiefs to curb illegal slaughtering on Eid
The Bombay high court (HC) in two different petitions on Tuesday directed the commissioners of Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC) and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to ensure that slaughtering of animals does not take place on Bakri Eid in temporary slaughterhouses and sacrifices be done in licensed slaughterhouses only.
The orders were passed after the petitioners expressed apprehension that due to the illegal sale of livestock namely water buffaloes for the sacrificial ritual of the Muslims from July 21-23 in the jurisdiction of the two corporations, there was an imminent possibility of the animals being slaughtered without conforming to the rules and regulations thus putting the lives of the common man at risk.
The division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni while hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Jiv Maitri Trust was informed by advocates Raju Gupta, Hare Krishna Mishra and Mukesh Gupta that through a July 15 order the commissioner of BNMC had permitted the setting up of 38 temporary slaughterhouses. The advocates submitted that the slaughterhouses were sans licenses and hence the order was not in conformity with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughterhouse) Rules.
However, advocate NR Bubna representing the civic authority tried to assure the court that the commissioner was aware of the rules and the temporary slaughterhouses would be operational under the supervision of the permanent and licensed slaughterhouses. Bubna added that the order was passed to ensure that sacrifices in public places were avoided and disposal of the waste would be done as per the rules.
The court then observed that a deputy commissioner, animal husbandry department had opposed the move of the commissioner and had refused to approve to start a temporary slaughterhouse without obtaining proper permission. “We have no other option to stay the operation of the impugned order and no effect should be given to it without permission of the court. We make it abundantly clear that no slaughters shall be allowed except in those licensed and sanctioned slaughterhouses and in case of violation of relevant laws, strict action is taken by the police,” noted the bench in its order.
Meanwhile, the division bench of justice S S Shinde and justice N J Jamadar while hearing a petition filed by NGO Gau Gyan Foundation was informed that a livestock market had been set up in Kausa, Mumbra in the jurisdiction of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). The petitioners contended that they had an apprehension that illegal slaughter of animals would take place in those markets on the day of Eid as neither the municipal authorities nor the police had taken cognizance of the complaints lodged by the NGO.
Advocate JS Kini for the petitioner submitted that as the authorities had failed to take cognizance of his clients’ complaints the HC should issue directions to them to ensure that the illegal slaughtering did not take place.
After hearing submissions, the bench posted the further hearing to August 6 and noted in the order, “We are of the view that the slaughtering of animals ought to conform with the licenses issued by the competent authorities and specified at designated places and specified hours. Given this, we direct respondent Commissioner of police, Thane to check/ensure no illegal slaughter of animals takes place within the jurisdiction of Mumbra Police station Thane.”
Meanwhile, with popular markets in Mumbai closed on the backdrop of Bakri Eid, a huge crowd was witnessed at a section of the APMC market in Kalyan for the purchase of goats a day before Bakri Eid. Around 17,000 goats were stocked at the market for sale ahead of the festival.
“We decided to start with online trading of goats as the market in Mumbai were shut, however, the response was poor. People usually chose to come to the market and purchase. At the same time we are ensuring all the lockdown norms are followed,” said Sanjay Ukirde, administrator, Bakri mandai, APMC, Kalyan.
(With inputs from Sajana Nambiar)