Bombay High Court Announces Temporary Closure of Meat Shops

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The Bombay High Court, on the 4th of September, announced the temporary closure of slaughterhouses and meat selling shops during Paryushan, a festival of the Jains.

A bench of judges, comprising Pradeep Nandrajog, the Chief Justice of Maharashtra and Justice Bharati Dangre, heard the petition filed by the Bombay Mutton Dealers Association (BMDA) and Mehul Mepani against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC.)

According to the petition, the BMDA alleged the BMC and Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation of issuing a circular which directed all the meat shops in the City to remain shut during the festival.

However, the Bombay High Court refused to entertain the petitioners and asked them to shut down their shops for a short period of the festival, on account of respecting the sentiments of the Jain community.

The circular was issued in September 2015, following which, every year, all the meat shops should remain closed during the festival, which is celebrated for 4 to 10 days in August and September.

The petitioners challenged the circular and asked the High Court to put a stay order on it.

The petitioners said asking for the closure of is a violation of the fundamental right to livelihood and is unconstitutional.

While reviewing the petition, the High Court said, “In our opinion, in keeping with the sentiments of a particular section of the society, if abattoirs and meat selling shops are closed for a short period, then it is not unconstitutional.”

The High Court justified their statement by citing a similar case.  Previously, in a similar case, the SC also passed its judgement in favour of the Ahmedabad Civic Body, which passed a similar circular, demanding the temporary closure of meat shops.

The bench of judges of the High Court said similar to the judgement passed by the Supreme Court (SC,) the High Court also directs the meat selling shops to remain closed during the festival.

An official judgement regarding the case will be passed at a later date.

Stay tuned for further updates.


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