Mumbai: Following the high court’s verdict on beef ban in the state, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the court had upheld the act as constitutional though it had been criticised as being unconstitutional.
He also said the government will seek legal opinion on the issue and approach the Supreme Court if needed.
“The high court has upheld the act as constitutional. A few had criticised the beef ban decision as unconstitutional and as targeting a particular community. But we always clarified that it has nothing to do with any religion or community. The judgement is based on two things. The court has allowed possession of beef which was barred by the state law. It is related to interstate transport regulation which is not a state matter. Therefore, the court has disapproved the provision against possessing beef,” the CM said.
In another section, the responsibility on the accused to prove himself innocent has been removed by the court. “Under the state act, the onus was on the accused to prove his innocence. However, under IPC, the burden of proof is on the state. The court said that it is prosecution’s responsibility to prove the crime,” the chief minister added.
He even said the state would seek legal opinion on the issue. “We will seek legal opinion on the issue and if needed will go to the Supreme Court,” he said.
However, the Opposition has termed it as a respite from BJP’s polarisation politics.
“The beef ban decision was taken to polarise the society. The high court’s judgment will restrict untoward incidents such as Dadri. Also, the government is yet to create cattle camps to look after unwanted animals,” Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
The verdict by the court will stop harassment of people for possession of beef, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
“The decision by the court will not affect day-to-day life of the people. But it will stop harassment by right-wing parties such as BJP and VHP inculpating people for possessing beef,” he said.
Also, Mr Malik said the CM’s decision to approach the Supreme Court is to appease his vote bank....