Bombay HC questions feasibility of meat ban, seeks response from state, BMC

Mumbai : The Bombay high court on Thursday questioned the feasibility of meat sale ban in Mumbai even as Shiv Sena and MNS opened stalls on the streets to sell meat as a mark of protest.

The high court said imposing a ban on animal slaughter and sale of meat for four days during the Jain festival ‘Paryushan’ is not feasible in a metropolitan city like Mumbai and sought response from the state and the municipal body on a petition challenging it.

A division bench headed by Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a petition filed by Bombay Mutton Dealers Association challenging Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) decision to ban the sale of meat for four days — September 10, 13, 17 and 18 — during the festival.

While the ban on September 10 and 17 was as per government’s directives, the Shiv Sena-BJP run BMC imposed it on 13 and 18. The ban covers only the sale of mutton and chicken.

“Mumbai is a metropolitan city. Such straight ban on meat cannot be a formula. Ban is on slaughter and sale of the meat. What about other sources? What about packaged meat that is already available in the market?” the court asked.

The court suggested if the Jain community had a problem with animals being slaughtered in the open and displayed in shops, a direction can be issued against it.

The court has posted the matter for hearing on Friday and asked the state government and BMC to file short affidavits.

The court also sought to know from the civic body under which provision of law it imposed such a ban.

The petitioners have claimed that the decision is unconstitutional as it affects the livelihood of a section of people and favours a small percentage of population. It also goes against the secular fabric of the constitution, they have said.

Meanwhile, the protest over ban spilled on to Mumbai streets with Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) setting up stall to sell meat in defiance of the order in busy Dadar area.

The Raj Thackeray-led MNS set up a stall to sell chicken meat as a symbolic protest while the Shiv Sena workers tore off the civic body notices declaring the ban on meat sale.

Shiv Sena also slammed the Jains for their insistence on banning sale of meat during their festival ‘Paryushan’.