Court upholds slaughter ban in Maharashtra

The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the Maharashtra government’s ban on beef, but struck down the Act that criminalises possession of beef brought from outside the state.

In its order, the court said that the state government&’s decision to ban slaughter of bullocks will continue but the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which criminalises possession of beef brought from outside Maharashtra was struck down.

The ruling by a division bench comprising Justice AS Oka and Justice SC Gupte came on a bunch of petitions challenging the provisions in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which stipulated penal action even for possession of beef brought from outside the state.

The Maharashtra government enforced a beef ban in February 2015 following President Pranab Mukherjee&’s nod to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which in addition to banning slaughter of cows, prohibited possession and slaughter of bulls and bullocks and consumption of beef.

According to the Amendment Act, slaughter attracts a five-year jail-term and Rs.10,000 fine, while possession of meat of bull or bullock attracts one year in jail and Rs.2,000 fine.

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