The Supreme Court has sought response on a plea of the Maharashtra government challenging the Bombay High Court order decriminalising possession of beef in case of animals which are slaughtered outside the state.
The state government has challenged the High Court’s verdict of 6th May last year striking down two sections of the Maharashtra Animals Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995, which criminalised and imposed punishment on persons found in possession of beef of the animals, slaughtered in or outside the state, on the ground that it infringed upon a person’s Right to Privacy.
The matter came up for hearing yesterday before the Apex Court which issued notice on the appeal and tagged it along with several pending pleas related to the issue.
The High Court had termed the provisions as “unconstitutional” which held mere possession of beef as crime, saying only conscious possession of the meat of the animals slaughtered in the state would be an offence.
According to the High Court verdict, the burden of proving innocence would not be on individuals but the onus to prove that the law was violated lay on the prosecution.