Court Verdict: Beef still banned, but possession isn’t a criminal offence
Local Press Co 5-point Snippet
1. The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the Maharashtra government’s decision to ban slaughter of cows and bullocks in the state.
2. But, it struck down the section in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act that criminalizes possession of beef brought from outside the state. The court cited that section 5D, which prohibits possession of the flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered outside the state of Maharashtra, infringes privacy.
3. In February 2015, President had granted assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which, in addition to slaughter of cows, also prohibited the slaughter of bulls and bullocks and possession or consumption of their meat.
4. As per the Act, slaughtering cows can lead to a five-year jail term and Rs 10,000 fine, while possession of the meat of a bull or bullock attracts one year in jail and a fine of Rs 2,000.
5. Since the ban, a number of petitions have been filed contending that the ban violated fundamental right of citizens under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian Constitution.