[dropcap]A[/dropcap]HEAD of Bakra Eid on August 12, 2019, the Bombay High Court yesterday restrained the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) from accepting or granting permission to slaughter animals inside any individual flat.
“In our view, the requirements of public safety, hygienic and sanitation make it impossible to accept any policy that permits slaughtering inside individual flats… In a city that is as densely crowded and congested as Mumbai and where typical residential apartments are small, we do not believe it is possible to make effective arrangements for human, hygienic and safe methods of sacrificial slaughter within a residential flat,” the high court said in its interim order, in response to a dispute pertaining to a policy granting temporary permission for slaughtering sheep or goats for festivals and special occasions.
Prohibiting and restraining the MCGM from accepting or granting permission to slaughter animals inside any individual flat, the high court division bench comprising Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel pointed out that many of the flats in question had either very old or very young residents. “…our concern is about the health, hygienic and safety of all. We believe these concerns override all others. Therefore, it will not matter whether the application is made by an individual, a family or a group of individuals. We restrain all slaughtering within residential flats or accommodations”.
Asserting that they were only addressing the issue of slaughter in individual flats, the bench listed out the other categories of spaces where slaughter had been permitted, including meat markets, community spaces and common areas in cooperative societies.
“In this interim order we are addressing ourselves only to applications made on behalf of societies and applications made by individuals for slaughter inside individual flats,” the court said.
As regard housing societies, the High Court has not completely restrained the granting of permission but has directed that no permission will be granted if the applicant society was located within a reasonable one-kilometre walking distance from a community space for slaughtering (including a religious slaughtering space).
The high court has also asked MCGM to stringently maintain all applicable safety, hygienic and public safety norms and to move expeditiously against any violation of the court order.