Hearing two public interest litigations (PILs) that sought a complete ban on the slaughtering of goats, sheep, buffaloes and the consumption of such meat between July 31 and August 1, on the occasion of Bakri Eid, the Gujarat High Court (HC) on Thursday directed that a notification similar to what has already been issued in Ahmedabad city also be issued across the state.
Ahmedabad Police Commissionerate had passed an order under CrPC section 144 on July 25, prohibiting animal sacrifice in public places or animal processions in Ahmedabad city. Issued by Commissioner of Police Ashish Bhatia, the notification not only prohibited such sacrifices in public areas, but also in private places where it would be “visible to the public,” as it could “disrupt communal harmony”.
The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala directed that a notification along the same line “shall be issued by all the Police Superintendents of their respective districts across the State of Gujarat.”
Yash Shah, a resident and social activist in Rajkot, and Pranin Foundation, a Vadodara-based animal rescue organisation, had filed PILs seeking the slaughter ban. Senior counsel HM Parikh representing the petitioners had submitted that in the “current pandemic situation,” there should be an absolute ban on the slaughtering of animals and the consumption of meat that has not been certified as fit for consumption by a competent officer in law.
It was also submitted that “there is a palpable concern amongst billions of Indian Citizens that if Bakri Eid is permitted to be celebrated in regular fashion, then that will be an invitation for the catastrophe to strike…and by not regulating the event of Bakri Eid, with all certainly, (Covid-19) will drastically increase the rampant spread of the pandemic.”