The Bombay High Court today reserved its verdict on the petitions challenging constitutional validity of the lawimposing an extensive ban on beef in Maharashtra.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and S C Gupte had last month started the final hearing.
The President granted assent to Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act last February. While the original Act of 1976 banned slaughter of cows, the amendment prohibits slaughter of bulls and even possession and consumption of beef.
Slaughter attracts a five-year jail term and Rs 10,000 fine while possession of meat attracts one-year in jail and Rs 2,000 fine.
During the hearing, the HC had refused to grant interim stay to the part which penalises possession of beef.
City resident Arif Kapadia and noted lawyer Harish Jagtiani have challenged the provision which says mere possession of beef is a crime. This harms the cosmopolitan nature of Mumbai which has people from all religions and communities, they say.
Other petitions have been filed by Vishal Sheth, a lawyer, and Shaina Sen, a student. They contend that while they are Hindus, beef is a part of their diet and the ban violates fundamental rights of citizens.
The judgement will be pronounced in due course.
( Source – PTI )