New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to interfere with the Bombay High Court order staying the order of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai prohibiting the sale of meat during the Jain festival of Paryurshan, noting vegetarianism could not be “forced down throats”.
A bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Kurian Joseph, while refusing to entertain the plea by a trust, said that there should be a spirit of “tolerance and accommodation”.
The court however allowed the petitioner Shree Tapagachiya Atma Kamal Labhdisuriswarji Gyanmandir Trust to go to the high court to raise all the contentions and plea for an early hearing.
The trust has challenged September 14 interim order of Bombay High Court staying the Maharashtra government notification of September 7, 2004, and subsequent orders of the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation banning sale of meat on Paryurshan.
Senior counsel Manish Singhvi, appearing for the Trust, sought to refute the allegation that there was an attempt to “control the diet” of the people, saying that in 365 days, a ban of two days on the sale of meat could not be described as “unreasonable”.
As he urged the court that already half of the day has passed and if the court could ban the sale of meat for the remaining half (of the day), the court said” “There has to be a spirit of tolerance and accommodation” as it cited a saying of poet Kabir: “Kabira Teri Jhopri Gal Katiyan Ke Pass, Jo Karn Ge Vo Bhharn Ge, Tu Kyo Bhayaon Udas.”
Obviously referring to internationally growing trend towards vegetarianism, the court told Singhvi that this has “to be inculcated through reforms, subtle ways. It can’t be forced down the throat”.