Tolerance And Respect For All Communities Essential: Allahabad HC While Dismissing PIL Against Meat Ban In Mathura
The Allahabad High Court had dismissed a PIL filed against restriction on the sale and purchase of meat, liquor and eggs in 22 Wards of Nagar Nigam Mathura Vrindavan.
The Bench of Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava observed that "India is a Country of great diversity. It is absolutely essential if we wish to keep our Country united to have tolerance and respect for all communities and sects".
While dismissing the PIL, the Bench noted that the notification of September 10 2021 declaring 22 Wards of the Municipal Corporation as a "Holy Place of Pilgrimage" and the notification of 17 September 2021 imposing restriction on sale of meat, liquor and eggs in the said wards were not challenged by the Petitioner.
The PIL was filed by one Shahida claiming to be a social worker elected as Parshad Ward No. 38, Matiya Gate, District Mathura.
It was contended by the Petitioner that on account of the restriction, non-vegetarian persons residing in the said Wards are being deprived of their choice of meals and also from carrying on their business and livelihood.
It was also contended that, "The authorities are also not permitting the transportation of the restricted materials from other Wards where there is no such restriction for personal consumption or consumption in marriages and other ceremonial functions which restriction is most arbitrary and cannot be permitted".
Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal submitted that the state's decision was "with a view to maintain the historical, religious, tourism importance and above all the sanctity of the Holy places" and added that the restriction was limited to the 22 Wards.
The State argued that no fundamental right of the petitioner under Article 19 (1)(g) or Article 19 (6) of the Constitution can be said to have been infringed by imposing reasonable restrictions on only 22 Wards.
The Court held that it does not deem it appropriate to dwell into the validity of the Notification and the Government Order since they were not under challenge. The Court noted that the grievance of the petitioner was with regard to the harassment being faced by the non-vegetarian residents of the 22 Wards in the transportation of such restricted materials from outside such restricted Wards into the restricted wards for private consumption, for marriage and other ceremonial purposes.
The Court held that there is no complete ban. It also held that the allegation of the petitioner that State Authorities are harassing consumers of the restricted material is merely a bald and sweeping statement and that no material has been brought on record to substantiate the allegation.
"It was due to the wisdom of our founding fathers that we have a Constitution which is secular in character and which caters to all communities, sects lingual and ethnic groups etc., in the Country. It is the Constitution of India which is keeping us together despite all our tremendous diversity, because the Constitution gives equal respect to all communities, sects, lingual and ethnic groups etc., in the Country", the Court held.
"We are not inclined to entertain this writ (PIL)", the Court said while dismissing the PIL.