Life Style

Govt. does not have authority to prevent eating food of choice:High Court

May 13, 2017 05:35 AM
Allahabad High Court

Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to renew licences of legally operated abattoirs in the state. 

The court also directed the state government to issue new licences to slaughterhouses if they fulfilled the conditions laid down under the rules.

It said that the government had no authority to prevent someone from eating the food of his or her choice.

The matter will come up for hearing again on July 17.

The court said it was giving the State “ample time” to “gear up its machinery for taking positive action in the matter.”

The court directed the concerned departments of the State and local bodies to renew the licenses of slaughterhouses and also issue licences based on prescribed norms. The local bodies will obliged to consider and grant No Objection Certificates as and where required under the 2011 Regulations, it said.

“The inaction of the State Government in the past should not be a shield for imposing a state of almost prohibition. To provide an immediate check on unlawful activity should be simultaneous with facilitating the carrying of lawful activity, particularly that relating to food, food habits and vending thereof that is undisputedly connected with the right to life and livelihood,” the court said it its order.

The court also directed the State to circulate the order among all Divisional Commissioners and District Magistrates in the State as well as local bodies so that they can provide all material to the State for implementation of the policy and removal of all obstacles.

Soon after coming to power, the Yogi Adityanath government had directed administrative and police authorities to shut down or seal slaughterhouses in the State which according to it were running unlawfully or were unregistered. However, with the abattoirs, the State also shut down meat shops, throwing thousands of livelihoods into crisis. Those involved in the trade had argued that the action was arbitrary and violated their right to livelihood.

The State had contended that it was under no obligation to construct slaughter houses or make provisions for them and was merely acting against illegal setups in accordance with the norms of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

V. K Singh, counsel for the meat traders, said the court’s order was a clear “rejection” of the State’s stand.

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