Mumbai: The Bombay High Court sought a reply today from the Mumbai municipal commissioner over a petition challenging the system of online issuance of permission for animal slaughter for Bakri Eid. The festival falls on August 22 this year.
A bench of Justices A S Oka and R I Chagla asked the commissioner to file a reply to the plea filed by Jiv Maitri trust, an NGO, by August 16. The petition, filed through advocates Ashish Mehta and Sujoy Kantawalla, stated that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is giving permission for animal slaughter online for the first time this year.
People only have to fill in details and after clicking “submit”, a temporary licence for slaughter is issued immediately in digital format, without any verification of details, the petition said. Advocate Kantawalla told the court that two lawyers recently secured permission for slaughtering five goats each at Esplanade Mansion, a heritage building housing shops and lawyers’ offices near the high court. Esplanade Mansion is clearly not the right place for animal slaughter, he said.
Also, one of these two applicants was a Jain and life-long vegetarian, but the permission was given without any “application of mind”, he said. At least 2 lakh goats are slaughtered in the city each year on Bakri Eid and the BMC is supposed to collect the remains of animals. If temporary license is issued for various spots, how would the corporation supervise the slaughter in each place, Kantawalla asked. The abattoir at Deonar in east Mumbai is the only place which has a license and necessary facilities for slaughter, the lawyer argued, demanding that the online system be scrapped.