Hinsa Virodhak Sangh Vs. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamat & Ors
Coram: H. K. SEMA, MARKANDEY KATJU
2008 AIR 1892 2008(4 )SCR1020 2008(5 )SCC33 2008(3 )SCALE582 2008(3 )JT421
Constitution of India, 1950: Articles 14, 19(1)(g) & 21: Right to practice trade/business - Closure of slaughter house during festival - Reasonable restriction vis--vis religious tolerance - Held: Resolution passed by Municipal Corporation closing municipal slaughter house during PARYUSHAN festival observed by Jain community not in violation of Articles 14, 19(1)(g) or 21 of Constitution as there is no clear violation of any constitutional provision by such resolutions - Since closure of the slaughter house was for a short period of nine days, resolutions not putting excessive restriction on the right of butcher community to practice their profession - Restriction for a limited period cannot be termed as unreasonable restriction - During restriction, non-vegetarian could become vegetarian out of respect for religious feeling of other community - The policy of tolerance alone could keep the country together despite so much diversity - Hence nothing unreasonable found in the impugned resolutions as violative of fundamental rights of respondent as granted u/Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 - Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949 - Resolutions dated 14/8/1999 and 29/8/1999 issued thereunder. Delegated legislation - Nature of - Held: Statutory in character provided it does not violate provisions of parent statutes. Delegated legislation - Constitutional validity of - Held : Presumption is in favour of Constitutionality thereof - It is only in the limited case of clear violation of provision beyond a reasonable doubt that the Court should declare it to be unconstitutional - Judicial restraint - Exercise of. Respondent No. 1, a registered public charitable trust safeguarding the interests of the persons engaged in the business of slaughter and sale of livestock; Respondent No. 2, an association of persons, engaged in the sale of mutton in the city of Ahmedabad; and Respondent No.3, an individual, who was doing the business of selling mutton in the city of Ahmedabad filed Writ Petitions before the High Court alleging that with a view to appease the Jain community the State Government and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation have passed resolutions dated 14-8-1998 and 29-81999 for closure of the municipal slaughter houses in the city of Ahmedabad during the period of the Paryushan festival, an important Jain festival. It is alleged that the closure of the municipal slaughter houses directly results in violation of their fundamental rights to do trade and business as guaranteed by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and closure of the slaughter house cannot be said to be a reasonable restriction merely because a particular community or a section of the society feels that there should be closure of the municipal slaughter houses for a particular period will be in consonance with the Jain ideology of Ahinsa (non-violence). The Division Bench of the High Court held that the impugned resolutions of the Municipal Corporation were constitutionally invalid; that the people eat vegetarian food or non-vegetarian food is their private affair and the Court cannot make any pronouncement about it; that people living in different parts of the country have different eating habits. Even in a particular locality, village or town, there are some persons who are vegetarian and others who are non-vegetarian and that no restriction can be placed on the slaughtering or eating of meat merely because it may hurt the sentiments or the religious feelings of a particular community or a society. Hence, the present appeal.
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