Possession of imported beef not a crime: Bombay HC stays ban on cow slaughter

The Bombay High Court on Friday passed order to continue beef ban in Maharashtra while decriminalising possession of beef slaughtered outside the state.

The High Court struck down penal provision for possession of beef outside Maharashtra, reported CNN News18.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Section 5D was removed from Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which criminalises possession of beef brought from outside Maharashtra.

However. the High Court upheld Maharashtra government's decision to ban slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks in the state.

In February 2015, the President granted assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While the original 1976 Act banned slaughter of cows, the amendment prohibited, in addition, slaughter of bulls and bullocks and possession and consumption of their meat.

As per the 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.

During the hearing in January, the HC had refused to grant interim stay to the provisions penalising the possession of beef.

Arif Kapadia, a city resident, and noted lawyer Harish Jagtiani had challenged the provision which says mere possession of beef anywhere in the state is a crime.

This is arbitrary and undermines the cosmopolitan nature of the city which houses people from all religions and communities, they had contended.

Other petitions had  been filed by Vishal Sheth, a lawyer, and Shaina Sen, a student, contending that the ban on beef violates fundamental rights of citizens.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: May 06, 2016 13:28 PM

Also See