Gujarat HC on Thursday directed all districts in the state to prohibit animal sacrifices in public places, and also in private places where it would be visible to the public.
The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala was listening to two 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, due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A notification prohibiting public sacrifice was already issued by Ahmedabad Police Commissionerate under CrPC section 144 on July 25, and the court asked for a similar order to be issued by all the Police Superintendents of their respective districts across the State of Gujarat.
The two PILs were filed by Yash Shah, a resident and social activist in Rajkot, and Pranin Foundation, a Vadodara-based animal rescue organisation. 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.
The petitioners had also expressed a fear among citizens that if Bakri Eid is celebrated in regular fashion, it could lead to a drastic increase in spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pranin Foundation was established in Vadodra, Gujarat in 2014 by Neha Patel and other gau rakshaks (cow protection activists). It works as an animal rescue and shelter organisation which has done good work in stopping illegal cattle and camel trafficking. Neha Patel is also associated with the social organisation Agniveer.
Meanwhile, in other court-related news, Delhi HC’s Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri gave anticipatory bail to former Delhi Minorities Commission chief Zafar-ul-Islam Khan in the sedition case filed against him for an incendiary social media post where he had written that if Indian Muslims complain to the Arab and Muslim world, ‘bigots would face an avalanche’. Khan was represented by Advocate Vrinda Grover.
Earlier in May, Delhi Police had faced massive protests and had to beat a hasty retreat when they went to Khan’s house in Jamia Nagar as part of their probe. Khan had also termed the Triple Talaq Bill as “wrong” and a “great injustice” to the Muslim community.
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