The Bombay High Court on Tuesday, 6 August, restrained the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation from granting permission for slaughter of animals this Bakrid inside residential flats.
A Bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Patel said it cannot completely prohibit such slaughters within the compound or grounds of housing societies.
However, the housing societies located within one kilometre of religious plots and community halls, which can be used as alternate sites, must be directed by the BMC to carry out the slaughter, instead of within the society premises, it said.
The Bench said such restrictions were essential to “maintain basic standards of hygiene”.
“It is impossible to maintain hygiene and sanitary conditions if slaughter of animals is permitted within individual flats. Therefore, no permission can be granted for such slaughters within individual residential flats,” the Bench said.
‘Violates Environmental & Animal Welfare Laws’
The Bench was hearing two petitions filed by local NGOs Jiv Maitri Trust and Viniyog Parivar, challenging the civic body's decision to grant temporary no-objection certificates to several housing societies for the slaughter of goats and sheep on Bakrid
The petitioners argued that the civic body's policy violated the environmental as well as animal welfare laws.
BMC's counsel Anil Sakhre, however, told the court that such slaughters are permitted as per its rules, and it is regulated by a very specific policy which imposes conditions on the area for such slaughters, compulsory enclosure of such space, maintenance of hygiene, and law and order.
Sakhre said it is a religious matter and the BMC cannot accept the petitioners’ argument that such slaughter be restricted to the abattoir located in Deonar area.
He said specific arrangements would be made to dispose off the carcasses and clean the slaughter area.
The Bench, however, said permission must not be granted to individual flats for the slaughter of animals.
It said several community halls, grounds and even some religious sites in the city are used for such slaughter.
Therefore, such housing societies that are located close to such sites must not be granted permission to carry out slaughter inside their premises.
The court said suitable measures must be taken for transporting animals for slaughter and the disposal of their carcasses.
The BMC must ensure that hygiene was maintained and other residents were not inconvenienced, it further said.