Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday restrained the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation from granting permission for slaughter of animals this Bakr-Id inside residential flats.
A bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel said it could not completely prohibit such slaughters within the compounds or grounds of housing societies.
However, the housing societies located within one km of religious plots and community halls, which could be used as alternate sites, must be directed by the BMC to carry out the slaughter there, instead of within their society premises, it said.
The bench said such restrictions were essential to "maintain basic standards of hygiene." "It is impossible to maintain hygiene and sanitary conditions if slaughter of animals is permitted within individual flats. Therefore, no permission can be granted for such slaughters within individual residential flats," the bench said.
The bench was hearing two petitions filed by local NGOs Jiv Maitri Trust and Viniyog Parivar, challenging the civic body's decision to grant temporary no-objection certificates to several housing societies for the slaughter of goats and sheep on Bakr-Id.
The petitioners argued that the civic body's policy violated the environmental and animal welfare laws. BMC's counsel Anil Sakhre, however, told the court that such slaughters were permitted as per its rules, and it was regulated by a very specific policy that imposed conditions on the area for such slaughters, compulsory enclosure of such space, maintenance of hygiene, and law and order.
Sakhre said it was a religious matter and the BMC could not accept the petitioners' argument that such slaughter be restricted to the abattoir located in Deonar area here. He said specific arrangements would be made to dispose of the carcass and clean the slaughter area.
The bench, however, said permission must not be granted to individual flats for the slaughter of animals. It said several community halls, grounds and even some religious sites in the city were used for such slaughter.
Therefore, such housing societies that were located close to such sites must not be granted permission to carry out slaughters inside their own premises. The court said suitable measures must be taken for transporting animals for slaughter and disposal of their carcasses. The BMC must ensure that hygiene was maintained and other residents were not inconvenienced, it further said.