The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court last week said that the Jalna police seems to be soft-pedaling on the illegal slaughtering of animals and selling beef. The HC has asked the district collector to constitute a team and take action against all the illegal slaughterhouses in the district.
A bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Sanjay Mehare was hearing a PIL filed by Ashpak Ansari highlighting the rampant illegal slaughterhouses operating in Sadar Bazar, a popular marketplace area in Jalna district.
The judges had on an earlier hearing, ordered the police authorities to ensure that the shops are shut, however, the shops continued to carry on their operations.
"We find that the steps initiated by the Police Authorities are too less. When the slaughterhouse, which was illegally being operated, was shut down by our order passed in February this year, there was no chance of the slaughtering of animals to sell the flesh as beef," the bench noted.
"We also find from the report that the Sadar Bazar Police Station has issued notices to the several persons who have repeatedly indulged in slaughtering the animals illegally and that too, in the open. Despite the same, these persons are repeatedly committing the offenses," the judges noted, adding, "Prima-facie it appears that the Police Authorities are soft-pedaling on the illegal activities."
The bench accordingly ordered the collector of Jalna to constitute a special team comprising of police authorities, representatives of the state's pollution control board, collector, local civic body, etc. This team, the bench said, would be taking action against such illegal shops.
"There can be no debate that when the law permits a slaughterhouse, there cannot be an order of prohibiting a slaughterhouse in any town or district," the bench observed. The Municipal Council of Jalna took a stand, before the judges, that it does not have funds.
"We, therefore, deem it appropriate to call upon the state authorities to consider whether funds can be provided to the Municipal Council for setting up a slaughterhouse," the bench said while adjourning the case for hearing after two weeks.
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