Bombay High Court refuses to stay ban on bull slaughter for Eid
Mumbai: The Bombay High
Court on Monday refused to grant interim stay on ban on slaughter of bulls and
sale of their meat during the Muslim festival of Bakri Eid.
A division bench of
justices AS Oka and VL Achliya, hearing a batch of petitions seeking relaxation
on the ban on slaughter and sale of meat of bulls from September 25 to 27 on
the occasion of Bakri Eid, declined to grant any interim relief to the
Maharashtra Act by which the ban was imposed.
“We are not inclined to
grant any drastic interim relief at this stage which would amount to a stay on
section 5 of the Maharashtra Preservation of Animals (Amendment) Act,” the
“Can interim relief be
granted on the state government's statutory power? If there was power of
relaxation under the Act we would have asked the state government to consider
it. How do we grant relief without staying the statutory provision,” the court
The court refused to
accept the petitioners' contention that slaughter of animals and their
sacrifice forms an essential part of the Muslim community's religious practice.
Advocates Gayatri Singh
and Ejaz Naqvi, appearing for the petitioners, argued that slaughter of animals
is a crucial part of the Muslim community's religious practice to sacrifice.
“The state government
issued a circular banning slaughter of animals and sale of mutton and chicken
for two days during the Jain community's festival of Prayushan. Why cannot it
(government) issue a circular relaxing the ban on beef for the Muslim
community,” Naqvi argued.
The court said the
matter can be dealt with only after a detailed affidavit is filed by all the
respondents and posted it for final hearing on October 12.
The petitions sought
direction to the state government to temporarily suspend provisions banning and
penalising the slaughter of bulls/male calves and possession of their meat in
amended Maharashtra Preservation of Animals (Amendment) Act.
According to the
petitioners-- Aslam Alamgir Malkani and Ishaque Abdul Aziz Shaikh--the Act
violates articles 25 (freedom of religion), 26 (freedom to manage religious
affairs) and 29 (protection of interests of minorities) of the Constitution.
The other petition,
filed by Huzaifa Electricwala, also challenges the Act and seeks a similar
relief. (With inputs from agencies)