The Bombay High Court while upholding the Maharashtra governmentâ€™s decision to ban beef slaughter in the state has decriminalised the possession of beef brought from outside Maharashtra.
The High Court struck down the section in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act which criminalised the possession of beef acquired from outside the state. As per the original Act, beef slaughter can attract a five-year jail term and a Rs 10,000 fine while possessing the meat of a bull or bullock could attract a Rs 2000 fine and a one-year jail term.
The HC gave the judgement while hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the beef ban in Maharashtra. A division bench of Justices AS Oka and SC Gupte had reserved the ruling in January after hearing the arguments.
Arif Kapadia, a city resident, and noted lawyer Harish Jagtiani had challenged the provision which said mere possession of beef anywhere in the state is a crime.
Other petitions have been filed by Vishal Sheth, a lawyer, and Shaina Sen, a student, contending that the ban on beef violates fundamental rights of citizens.
Inputs from PTI