Explained: Legal Aspects of the Mumbai #MeatBan and its Constitutionality
The Municipal Corporation for Greater Mumbai (BMC) has imposed a ban on the sale of meat in the area under their jurisdiction for four days namely 10, 13, 17 and 20 September 2015. On the other hand, the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation has imposed a ban of 10 days on the sale of meat.
Though the ban is not new but in the backdrop of change in the ruling alliance and the subsequent enlarged beef ban law by way of amendment in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995 has created outrage with #meatban being among top trends on social media.
As a petition challenging the meat ban lies for its adjudication before the Bombay High Court, let’s look at some important aspects of the ban:
When did the ban start? Ans: 1964
Is this ban related to the recent beef ban? Ans No.
Has the present meat ban been challenged in Court? Ans. Yes
Are there judicial precedents governing the ban? Yes, it holds ban as valid
In this connection it may be mentioned that there is a large population of the Jain community in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The Jains have a religious festival called Paryushan during which they do penance. Out of respect, for their sentiments surely the non-vegetarians can remain vegetarians for 9 days in a year.While it is true that the fundamental right of the writ petitioners under Article 19(1)(g) is affected by the impugned resolutions of the municipal corporation, we have further to examine whether the resolutions are saved by Article 19(6) which states that reasonable restrictions can be put on the right to freedom of trade and occupation under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.Also, the traders in meat of Ahmedabad will not suffer much merely because their business has been closed down for 9 days in a year. There is no prohibition to their business for the remaining 356 days in a year.
In a multi cultural country like ours with such diversity, one should not be over sensitive and over touchy about a short restriction when it is being done out of respect for the sentiments of a particular section of society.
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