Ahead of Ramzan Eid, a petition was on Tuesday filed in the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to Maharashtra government to permit slaughter of bulls and bullocks and transport their meat.
The petition, filed by Ansari Mohammed Umar (who is into business of selling and purchasing bulls and bullocks) and Shaikh Sadik Babulal (a butcher), has challenged recently-amended Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act.
Under the recent amendment in the Act, the government has banned slaughter of bulls and bullocks and export and import of its meat. Earlier, only slaughter of cows was banned under the Act.
"We are not challenging the ban imposed on slaughtering of cows. We are challenging the ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks. The amended Act is against Article 19 of the Constitution of India," the petition said. The duo have prayed for the prohibition on slaughter of bulls and bullocks, which are not suitable for milching, breeding or draught or any agricultural purpose, to be stayed. "We want a direction to the state government, the police and the management of Deonar abattoir to permit slaughter of bulls and bullocks," it said.
The petition has also sought police protection to those, who are in the business of slaughter of these animals, and also to those who transport their meat. The petition came up for hearing before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah, which directed it to be posted before a division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade, who is already hearing a bunch of petitions on the issue.
The bench headed by Justice Kanade had earlier refused to grant a stay on the ban imposed on import and export of beef but had asked the government to exercise restraint while handling such cases.