A Bombay High Court Bench comprising of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice Revati Mohite Dere directed the Maharashtra government and Mumbai Police to take action against all complaint received against illegal animal slaughter and sale of such meat in the state. The Bench was disposing of petitions which complained of laxity on part of the police in dealing with complaints regarding the illegal slaughter of animals and sale of meat.
The Bench said that it was imperative that as soon as the authorities receive the complaints of illegal slaughter or violation of rules which regulate the sale and consumption of meat the same must be immediately verified. The authorities must also check whether the alleged offenders have a valid licence for sale and slaughter. They must also ensure that such offences are not repeated in future.
The petitions, filed in 2017, alleged that beef was being sold openly in areas such as Nagpada, Agripada and Dongri. The petitions also claimed that temporary stalls across the city slaughtered animals and sold the meat illegally without licences and necessary permits. One of the petitioners claimed that despite his several complaints to the police, they failed to take action.
The Bench said that the authorities cannot just stop at filing the FIR or invoking legal provisions against the offenders. They also need to take immediate steps to verify the complaints, check for licences and make sure that there are no repeat offenders.
The Bench also instructed the authorities that they must not wait for a complaint to come to them. In case a new shop opens up and starts doing business, the authorities on their own should verify whether such shops are legal and they have necessary licences.