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Great news for beef lovers in Maharashtra

Maharshtra beef ban upheld- mybigplunge


Great news for beef lovers in Maharashtra

In what seems like a desperate attempt to patch up the wounds of unrest in Maharashtra, Bombay High Court on Friday struck down a tough law that had banned the consumption of beef in Maharashtra.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suresh Gupte upheld the ban and the judges said the state could not dictate a citizen’s “choice of food”.

It was last year, when the sale or possession of beef was made punishable offence by a five-year jail term or a 10,000-rupee ($150) fine. It was one of the strictest such laws in India, where several states ban the slaughter of cows.

While it is welcome news for all the beef lovers, for many it may seem a half measure to solve the commotion. The Bombay High Court said it was no longer illegal to possess or eat beef, as long as it had been brought into Maharashtra from outside.

It however upheld the part of the law, introduced in March 2015, which had extended a 1976 ban on slaughtering cows to cover bulls and bullocks, according to the ruling published on the court’s website.

Harish Jagtiani, a prominent lawyer and one of several petitioners who had asked the court to overturn the ban on consumption, told media, “The court has struck down that provision which says that the consumption of beef is illegal in Maharashtra.”

“They’ve struck down the provision that bans the import of beef into Maharashtra for the purpose of consumption and trade. Those bans have been declared to be unconstitutional,” he added.

Restaurants will now be allowed to sell imported beef again, Jagtiani said, adding that the court had ruled in favor of people’s right to eat the food they want, ‘wherever they want’.

While the slaughter of cows, bulls and bullocks remains illegal in Maharashtra, the slaughtering of water buffalo remains permissible. Friday’s ruling, which came after the court heard a number of petitions against the legal amendment, made no concessions to those in the slaughter trade.

So, you can eat beef if it is brought from outside the state, and while killing a cow, bull or bullock is still illegal in Maharashtra, if you are caught with beef in your home, the police will have to prove that the beef was from cattle in the state.

CM Devendra Fadnavis said the court had upheld the law but added the state will look into the order and decide if it wants to move the Supreme Court against the striking down of two provisions.

The decision caught the attention of social media with opinion predictably divided on Twitter.

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