HC Permits Restaurant in ‘Holy’ Kurukshetra to Sell Meat After Haryana Govt Ban
The high court accepted the petitioner's argument that he had a valid licence to sell meat and meat products and any order banning it will curtail his freedom.
File image of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed a restaurant in Kurukshetra to sell non-vegetarian food for the time being, in effect staying a Haryana government notification banning the sale of meat on the grounds that it is a ‘holy city’.
The eatery's owner, Anand Bajaj, had challenged the October 2017 notification, which banned sale and purchase of meat in Thanesar and Pehowa municipality areas of Kurukshetra. Bajaj, through his counsel Arvind Seth, had moved the high court on the grounds that he had a valid license for the sale of meat and any order banning it will curtail his freedom.
Advocate Seth contended that there was no provision under which the order was passed by Haryana, adding that that Food Safety & Standard Act of 2006 was the only law applicable in the matter.
Agreeing to hear the petition, Justice Rajan Gupta issued a notice to the state government and asked it to give a reply on October 22, till when Bajaj was allowed to go ahead with the sale of meat.
“Prima facie, there is substance in the plea of the petitioner,” said Justice Gupta. He also noted in his order the counsel’s argument that the petitioner had a valid licence to sell meat and meat products, including poultry.
Information available suggested that the Thanesar Municipal Council had, in 1971, approved a proposal to impose a ban on the sale of liquor and meat. In 1982, 2009 and 2011, proposals had again been passed to prohibit the sale of liquor and meat.
Action was taken against two hotels in Thanesar in 2014 after being found selling meat. The government, at the time of issuing the orders, had made it clear that the ban on the sale of meat would be implemented strictly in Thanesar and Pehowa.
As per information available, the Thanesar municipal council had in 1971 approved a proposal to impose a blanket ban on sale of liquor and meat within the municipal limits of the city. The proposal was again passed in 1982, 2009 and 2011.
Urban local bodies’ minister Kavita Jain had at the time of notification stated that ban on will be implemented strictly in Thanesar and Pehowa.
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