The Delhi government has defended a law that criminalises the acts of both possessing and eating beef in the city, according to PTI.
The Department of Animal Husbandry of Delhi informed the Delhi High Court via an affidavit that it had an obligation under the Constitution to protect cows and other such milch and draught animals from slaughter.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar is hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed against the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act.
Banning Meat Consumption Violation Of Fundamental Rights
Filed by law student Gaurav Jain along with an NGO working for people from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the plea claims that the act was “a case of legislative overreach”. The petitioners argue that the criminalization of possession and consumption of beef was an infringement of people’s fundamental rights.
According to the petitioners, the right to “eat the food of one’s choice” is an integral part of the available right to life and liberty. It has also highlighted that the Constitution mandates that there should be no law that seeks to enforce any “particular religious practice.”
The plea also stated that members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are directly affected by the act as they “often have a diet containing meats”.
The bench has scheduled the next hearing for May 16.