The Bombay High Court on Monday stayed the ban on sale of meat on September 17 during the Jain fasting period ‘Paryushan’ and refused to interfere with ban on slaughter of animals on that day.
The High Court also said that though the state government circular banning meat sale on two days was issued in 2004, it was never implemented fully.
Last week a division bench consisting of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice AA Sayed said called Mumbai a metropolitan city. They had said that such a straight jacket ban on meat could not be done. “Ban is on slaughter and sale of the meat. What about other sources through which meat can be availed? What about packaged meat that is already available in the market?”
The court had asked the corporation why it had extended the ban to four days (Sept 10, 13, 17 & 18), when the government counsel clarified that the ban is not a new thing and a two-day ban is being imposed since 2004.
The court had also asked if the Jain community had a problem, why a directive could not be issued against open slaughtering and display of meat in shops.
The petitioners claimed that the decision is unconstitutional as it affects the livelihood of a section of people and favours a small percentage of population. They also contended that it goes against the secular fabric of Constitution.
Wrangling over the ban on sale of meat, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) took to the streets to protest against it.
The Raj Thackeray-led MNS set up a stall to sell chicken meat at busy Dadar area as a symbolic protest while Shiv Sena workers tore off notices put up by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
A similar ban has also been clamped on neighbouring Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporations.
Seeking response of the state and the civic body on a plea of Bombay Mutton Dealers Association, a Division Bench of the High Court said imposing a ban on animal slaughter and sale of meat for four days is not feasible in a metropolitan city like Mumbai.