Adding a new chapter to the on-going meat ban controversy, the Bombay High Court stayed the ban on the sale of meat in Mumbai on September 17.
However, the court refused to interfere with the ban on animal slaughter on that day.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Bombay Mutton Dealers Association challenging the ban who said that the ban affects their livelihood.
The bench headed by Justices Anoop V Mohta and Amjad Sayyed in their order said:
“We are staying the ban on the sale of meat on September 17, but we are not interfering with the ban on the slaughter of meat and closure of abattoirs on that date. Though there was a ban since 2004, it was never implemented in its true sense”
The court further added:
“Although the circular was of 2004, we are very clear that the MCGM never fully implemented the ban on sale of meat. It never insisted on this (ban on sale of meat), but only insisted on closure of abattoirs.”
Questioning the intentions of the ban, the court asked:
“If it is a question of practice of non-violence by the Jain community, then why only mutton and chicken have been included in the ban and not fish and eggs?”
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) banned the sale of meat in Mumbai for four days – September 10, 13, 17 and 18 – with regard to the fasting period observed by the Jain community called Paryushan.
The ban resulted in a political standoff between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally the Shiv Sena who distributed meat packets on the first day of the ban.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists protested against the ban by cooking chicken in front of a Jain community hall.