Uttarakhand High Court
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Uttaranchal High Court: A Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, C.J. and Ramesh Chandra Khulbe, J., allowed this writ petition imposing a stay, for a day, on Government order banning animal slaughter in Haridwar district.

This writ petition was moved by one Faisal Hussain as an intervener and pleaded to allow slaughter of animals in the legally permitted slaughterhouses which already existed in the Manglaur[1] Municipality area as the festival of Eid- al- Adha (‘Bakra – Eid’) is about to be celebrated on 10-07-2022.

The intervener contended that in the town of Manglaur, there are 87% Muslims. The effect of the Government order dated 03-03-2021 was that when the festival of Bakra Eid was celebrated, animals were sacrificed in the streets. Apart from this, an abattoir, a slaughtering house, has already been constructed under the Public-Private Partnership Model with all requisite permissions. It was also stated that these legally approved slaughterhouses were not operational because of the blanket ban imposed by Government order dated 03-03-2021 restraining slaughter of animals in entire Haridwar district.

The Court allowed animal slaughter on the upcoming Bakra Eid on 10-07-2022, because it is an essential religious practice in Islam.

The Court directed interveners to ensure that no sacrifice should be made within the compound of an abattoir, and not outside their residences.

The Court also directed the Municipal Board, Manglaur, District Haridwar, to make necessary arrangements at the abattoir on Bakra Eid on 10-07-2022.

[Iftakhar v. State of Uttarakhand, (PIL) No.44 of 2021, decided on 07-07-2022]

[1] Ed. Note: The Judgment of the Court mentions ‘Mangalore’ which falls in the State of Karnataka. However, we have corrected the same to ‘Manglaur’ which is a town Haridwar District in the State of Uttarakhand.

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Supreme Court: Justice Indu Malhotra has recused herself from hearing a batch of appeals and cross-appeals challenging a Bombay High Court verdict which held that mere possession of beef of animals slaughtered outside the State cannot invite criminal action.  A bench headed by Justice A M Sapre said that Justice Malhotra was recusing herself from the hearing as she had earlier appeared as a lawyer in the case.

The Supreme Court, on August 17, 2016, had sought the response of the Maharashtra government on the plea of ‘Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh’ against the high court order. Later, as many as 33 petitions were filed in the Supreme Court by different individuals and organisations.

The High Court, on May 6, 2016, had said that the provisions of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which criminalised possession of beef, was an infringement on the right to privacy of citizens and unconstitutional. It had also upheld the ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks in Maharashtra while striking down two sections of the state act which criminalised possession of beef.

Striking down sections 5(d) and 9(b) of the act which criminalised and imposed punishment for possession of beef of animals slaughtered in the state or outside, the high court had held that the state cannot control what a citizen does in his house, which is his own castle, provided he is not doing something contrary to the law.

“Sections 5(d) which provides that no person shall have in his possession flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered outside Maharashtra is unconstitutional and infringes upon a citizen’s right to privacy,”

The court had also modified section 5(c) of the act, which makes possession of beef of animal slaughtered in the state an offence, and had said only “conscious possession” of such meat will be held as an offence.

In February 2015, the president had granted sanction to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While the act had banned slaughter of cows way back in 1976, the recent amendments prohibited slaughter of bulls and bullocks, possession and consumption of their meat. As per the act, slaughter attracts a five-year jail term and Rs 10,000 fine and possession of meat of bull or bullock attracts one-year jail and Rs 2,000 fine.

(Source: PTI)