Mumbai (The Hindu): Maharashtra government’s new slaughterhouse rules will consider an area’s demography, economics and religious sentiments before ordering meat shops and abattoirs to down shutters.
The State’s Urban Development Department is drafting the policy, which aims to give corporators greater autonomy in deciding the number of days to ban sale of meat and slaughter of animals in a year. The policy, which will be tabled before the Cabinet next month, will fix the number of days a corporation can impose the ban in a year.
‘Follow Gujarat model’
A government official said religious and political leaders have been requesting a ban of over nine days during religious festivities in the State, on the lines of the ban in Gujarat. The Gujarat government has prohibited the killing of animals and birds for consumption, along with the sale of meat, poultry and fish within its municipality areas during the the Jain community’s Paryushan fast to “respect the sentiments” of the community. The official said, “The Gujarat government’s decision, however, is backed by the courts.”
The official said in places like Malegaon, where a minority group is dominant, economic losses owing to the ban will be taken into account. He said, “Local bodies may discuss the ban and pass a resolution. The municipal commissioner may retain statutory powers to overrule or amend the ban.” In Mumbai, the ban is imposed by municipal commissioners for just two days on an average, but certain local bodies have longer bans.
In 2015, the Bombay Mutton Dealers’ Association challenged the BMC’s circular banning sale of mutton and chicken for four days of Paryushan in September. They also filed a petition in the Bombay Hight Court, which set aside the circular.
The court noted that the government had no statutory powers to direct municipal bodies to close down slaughter houses and meat shops on a particular day.
In the same year, the BJP moved a proposal to enforce an eight-day ban on sale of meat during Paryushan. The then deputy mayor Dilip Patel, while introducing the proposal, said: “The Jain community insists there should be no violence on religious days and their sentiments be respected.” The proposal failed to get passed after criticism from the Congress and Samajwadi Party.
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