Beef ban law: Activists urge Maharashtra CM to approach apex court

A month after Bombay High Court struck down two sections of Maharashtra Animals Preservation (Amendment) Act which  criminalised possession of beef of animals slaughtered outside the state, some activists here have urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to challenge the decision in the apex court.

The high court had last month struck down two sections -- 5D and 9B -- of the Act, which criminalised possession of beef of animals slaughtered outside Maharashtra, while upholding the ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the state.

Soon after the court order, Fadnavis had said that if required, the government will approach Supreme Court against the high court decision of striking down the 'unconstitutional sections' of the Act. Animal rights activist Siddh Vidya, in an email to the CM, today urged him to move the apex court.

"Please take a very serious note of the fact that with the removal of the said two sections from the statute book, the entire Act has become toothless," she said in the email.

"Removal of section 5D from the statute would provide cover to offenders who would slaughter cow progeny in Maharashtra and defend themselves with an excuse that it was slaughtered outside the state," she said.

She pointed out that when the onus to prove the offence is on the state, it would be difficult for prosecutionto ascertain as to when and in which part of the country, a cow and its progeny were slaughtered and all the offenders would go unpunished. "Hence, the state must challenge the order before the apex court," she said.

Activist Rajendra Joshi said, "I have followed up this issue with the government. We have prepared a draft to challenge the order in Supreme court and sent it to state legal department."

Another animal rights activist Chetan Sharma said he has also requested the chief minister to act on the issue at the earliest.

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