The ban on sale, storage and transport of beef or its products in the state has been challenged in the Gujarat High Court by members of the Quresh (butcher) community, claiming that the prohibition imposed by law has severely affected their business of selling meat.
The petition was filed by Quresh Vikas Manch, a society of members from Quresh community who have challenged various sections of the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2011 claiming it to be unconstitutional and against fundamental rights of trading in a food substance which was neither a banned community or hazardous to human beings.
Based on the petition a division bench of acting chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala issued notice to the Gujarat government and asked it to file an affidavit on the allegations made by the petitioner with in four weeks. The next hearing in kept after the government filed the affidavit.
The state government had last year passed the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2011 whereby it amended the provisions of the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954. As per the new amendment, trade, storage and transport of beef or any of its product was banned in the state of Gujarat, which was under challenge before the court.
The petitioners, who are butchers engaged in selling of meat, have alleged that the amendment in the Animal preservation act had severely affected their business.
"It is one thing to prohibit the slaughter of cow or her progeny for the purpose of preservation of a particular species of animal, but it is quite another thing to prohibit the trade, storage or sale of the product made out of beef, since beef itself is neither an illegal substance or a public health hazard, nor there is any ban against the consumption of beef even in the state of Gujarat," the petitioner's counsel argued before the court.
They have demanded that the newly added sections be declared unconstitutional and be removed.