The Madras High Court on Friday wanted to know whether the State government would be willing to order closure of slaughter houses and meat shops across the State on the day of Vinayaka Chaturthi and also during the entire period of the Paryushan Parva festival celebrated by Jains between August 15 and 24. Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy asked the Advocate General to obtain instructions in that regard

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NEWS STATES TAMIL NADU
TAMIL NADU
HC poser to government on slaughter houses, meat shops
Mohamed Imranullah S.
CHENNAI 14 AUGUST 2020 23:26 IST
UPDATED: 14 AUGUST 2020 23:26 IST
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The Madras High Court on Friday wanted to know whether the State government would be willing to order closure of slaughter houses and meat shops across the State on the day of Vinayaka Chaturthi and also during the entire period of the Paryushan Parva festival celebrated by Jains between August 15 and 24.

Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy asked the Advocate General to obtain instructions in that regard from the State government by Tuesday. The direction was issued following a public interest litigation petition filed by the Madurai North Indian Welfare Association, represented by its president J. Hulcamoingh.

Advocate K.R. Laxman, representing the petitioner, said the State government orders closure of slaughter houses and meat shops on Gandhi Jayanti, Mahaveer Jayanti and Vallalar Ramalinga Adigalar Jayanti. Similarly, it orders closure of liquor shops on Tiruvalluvar day, Milad-un-Nabi, Republic Day, Independence Day and so on.

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Hence, he insisted that the meat shops as well as liquor shops should be closed during Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrations as well as the entire period of the Paryushan Parva festival celebrated by the Jain community in order to ensure “environmental protection, peace, harmony, sustaining the heritage value and respecting the sentiments prevailing in society.”

However, the Advocate General wondered how stopping the slaughter of animals or sale of liquor would help in protecting the environment. Stating that the petitioner had not demonstrated how any of the provisions of the environmental laws get violated by slaughter of animals or selling liquor, he said the case had absolutely nothing to do with environment.

“Even if it is an environment issue, he can’t insist on protecting the environment only for particular number of days,” the A-G said. However, Mr. Laxman replied: “I am saying, let the environment be protected at least for those few days.” Thereafter, the A-G went on to state that ordering closure of shops was basically a policy decision to be taken by the State.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court too in a judgment delivered in 2016 had categorically stated that to be a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian was a matter of choice of individuals. “We are a secular State. There are ever so many communities in India. It will be difficult to run the State if every group starts demanding closure of shops,” he told the Bench.

After hearing him, the judges were convinced that the petitioner could not demand closure of liquor shops because it had nothing to do with environment but since the case had been moved urgently as a lunch motion, due to the Paryushan festival beginning on Saturday, they asked the A-G to ascertain the stand of the government on closure of slaughter houses and meat shops alone by Tuesday.

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