The Supreme Court today deferred by 10 days its hearing on a batch of petitions challenging a Bombay High Court order that upheld the ban on beef imposed by the Maharashtra government headed by the BJP.
In March 2015, the enactment of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act had banned the slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the state.
The slaughter of cows and sale of cow meat has been illegal in Maharashtra since 1976, but the new law had extended the ban to calves, bulls and bullocks.
POSSESSING BANNED MEAT NO CRIME: BOMBAY HC
Upholding the ban in January, the Bombay High Court, however, said that mere possession of banned meat cannot invite criminal action.
Last month, the newly-installed Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh ordered a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, leading to other BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh shutting down unlicensed slaughterhouses and meat shops.