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INTHEHIGHCOURTOFJUDICATUREATBOMBAY
CIVILAPPELLATEJURISDICTION
WRITPETITIONNO.5731OF2015

Petitioner

Respondents

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ShaikhZahidMukhtar
Versus
TheStateofMaharashtraandOrs.

Mr.FirozA.AnsariforthePetitioner.

WITH
WRITPETITIONNO.9209OF2015WITH
CIVILAPPLICATIONNO.3183OF2015

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IndianUnionMuslimLeague
Petitioner
Versus
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Ms.GayatriSingh,SeniorAdvocatea/wMr.ZaminAlii/byMr.Mohd.
RehanSayeedChhapraforthePetitioner.
Mr.RajivR.Guptai/byDhanuka&PartnersfortheApplicantinCA.

WRITPETITIONNO.9996OF2015
JamatulQureshMinorityAssociation
ThroughitsPresident
MohammedArifChowdharyandOrs.
Petitioners
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Mr. Ravindra Adsure i/by Mr. Sidheshwar Namdev Biradar for the
Petitioner.

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WITH
WRITPETITIONNO.11744OF2015WITH

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AnnaBaburaoNigadeandAnr.
Petitioners
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Mr.DineshRamchandraShindeforthePetitioners.

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WITH
CIVILAPPLICATIONNO.3326OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.11744OF2015WITH

Mr.RameshDhanrajPurohit
Inthematterbetween

Applicant/
ProposedIntervener

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AnnaBaburaoNigadeandAnr.
Petitioners
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Mr.ShashikantDamodarlalChandakfortheApplicant.

WITH
PUBLICINTERESTLITIGATIONNO.127OF2015
Mohd.HishamOsmani
s/oMohd.YusufOsmaniandAnr.
Vs.
TheStateofMaharashtraandOrs.

Mr.S.S.KaziforthePetitioners.

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Petitioners
Respondents

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Petitioners

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Mr.SheikhAasifSheikhRashidandAnr.
Vs.
MalegaonMunicipalCorporationandOrs.

Ms.ShamaMullai/byM/s.JayandCo.
Mr.G.H.KeluskarfortheRespondentNo.1.

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WITH
PUBLICINTERESTLITIGATIONNO.133OF2015

Respondents

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Mr.S.G.Aney,AdvocateGeneral,Mr.A.B.Vagyani,GovernmentPleader,
Mr.V.S.Gokhale,AGP,Mr.V.B.Thadhani,AGP,Ms.Tintina Hazarika,
AGPforStateinalltheabovePetitions.

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WITH
ORDINARYORIGINALCIVILJURISDICTION
WRITPETITIONNO.1314OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.139OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.374OF2015WITH
NOTICEOFMOTION(L.)251OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONSNO.264OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1314OF2015

HareshM.Jagtiani
Vs.
TheStateofMaharashtra

Petitioner
Respondent

WP/1314/2015
Mr.AspiChinoy,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.NavrozSeervai,Senior
Counsel along with Ms. Gulhar Mistry, Mr. Khalid Khurani, Miss.
RushikaRajadhyaksha,Miss.TarunaJaiswal,Mr.RyanMendesandMr.
RoydenFernandesi/bNikhilMilindSansare,AdvocateforPetitioner.
CHSW(L.)/139/2015
Mr.RamApte,Senior Counsel a/wMr.HarishPandya, Mr.Rajendra
KookadaandMr.RajuGuptai/byMr.RajuGuptaforIntervenor.

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CHSW(L.)/374/2015
Mr.SwarajS.JadhavandSaipanShaikhforApplicant.

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NMW(L.)/251/2015ANDCHS/264/2015
Mr.SubhashJhaa/wMr.GhanashyamUpadhyay,Ms.RushitaJain&
Mr. Ashish Shukla and Ms. Priyanka Jangid i/by Law Global for
Applicant.

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WITH
WRITPETITIONNO.1379OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.106OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.109OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.416OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1379OF2015

Petitioners
Respondents

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Mr.VishalSheth&Ors.
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.

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WP/1379/2015
Mr.SunipSenalongwithVishwajitP.Sawanti/byPrabhakarManohar
Jadhav,AdvocateforPetitioners.
Mr.H.S.Venegaonkar,AdditionalGovernmentPleaderalongwithMrs.
AnjaliHelekar,AGPforRespondentState.
CHSW(L.)/106/2015
Mr.SubhashJhaa/wMr.GhanashyamUpadhyay,Ms.RushitaJain&
Mr.AshishShuklai/byLawGlobalforApplicant.
CHSW(L.)/109/2015
Mr.AshishMehtaalongwithMr.SarbariChatterjeea/wAvaniRathod
i/byAshishMehta,forIntervenor.
CHSW(L.)/416/2015
Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.PrafullaB.Shah,for
applicantIntervenor.

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WITH
PUBLICINTERESTLITIGATIONNO.76OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.389OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.419OF2015
IN
PUBLICINTERESTLITIGATIONNO.76OF2015

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GautamBenegalandOrs.
Petitioners
Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
Respondents

PIL/76/2015
Mr.SunipSenalongwithV.P.SawantalongwithVishalShethandRuben
Fernandes, Ms. Tanayya Patankar and Mr. Veerdhaval Kakade, for
Petitioners.

Mr.H.S.Venegaonkar,AdditionalGovernmentPleaderalongwithMrs.
AnjaliHelekar,AGPforRespondentNo.1State.

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CHSW(L.)/389/2015
Mr.HarishPandyaa/wRajendraKookada,Mr.RajuGuptai/byMr.Raju
GuptaforIntervenors.
CHSW(L.)/419/2015
Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.PrafullaB.Shah,for
applicantIntervenors.

WITH
WRITPETITIONNO.1975OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.306OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.417OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1975OF2015
AnsariMohamedUmarandAnr.
Petitioners
Vs.
TheStateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Mr.MukeshM.Vashi,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.MakarandKaleand
Ms.AparnaDeokar,PanthiDesaiandA.A.Siddiquii/byA.A.Siddiqui
andAssociatesforPetitioners.
Mrs.AnjaliHelekar,AGPforRespondentState.

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CHSW(L.)/306/2015
Mr.M.P. Rao,Senior Counsela/wMr.RajendraKookada,Mr. Harish
PandhyaandRajuGuptai/byRajuGuptaforIntervenor.

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CHS(L.)/417/2015
Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.PrafullaB.Shah,for
applicantIntervenors.

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WITH
WRITPETITIONNO.2680OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.455OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMON(L.)NO.420OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.2680OF2015

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AslamAlamgirMalkaniandAnr.
Petitioners
Vs.
TheStateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

WP/2680/2015
Mr. A.A. Siddiqui i/by A.A. Siddiqui and Associates, Advocate for
Petitioners.

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Mr. Prakash Gada i/by Dhanuka & Partners for Mohd Faiz Khan
Intervenor.
CHSW(L.)/455/2015
Mr. P.R. Diwan a/w Mr. Rajendra Kookade, Mr. Aditya Khanna i/by
KookadeandAssociates&AdityaKhannaforIntervenor.
CHSW(L.)/420/2015
Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.PrafullaB.Shah,for
applicantIntervenor.

WITH
WRITPETITION(L.)NO.2566OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.456OF2015
HuzaifaIsmailElectricwalaandOrs.
Vs.
TheStateofMaharashtraandAnr.

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Petitioners
Respondents

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CHSW(L.)/456/2015
Mr.P.R.DiwanalongwithRajendraKookadaandMr.AdityaKhannai/by
Kookada&Associates&AdityaKhannaforIntervenor.

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WITH
WRITPETITION(L.)NO.1109OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.418OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.315OF2015
IN
WRITPETITION(L.)NO.1109OF2015

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SwatijaParanjpeandOrs.
Petitioners
Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
ThroughtheDepartmentof
AnimalHusbandryandOrs.
Respondents

WP(L.)/1109/2015
Mr.MihirDesaia/wMs.RebeccaGonsalves,Ms.UshajeePeri,Sariputta
P.Sarnath,Chetan Alai,VinamraKopariha,DevyaniKulkarni,Chetan
Malii/byVijayHiremath,AdvocateforPetitioners.
Mrs.AnjaliHelekar,AGPforRespondentNo.1State.
CHSW(L.)/418/2015
Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.PrafullaB.Shah,for
applicantIntervenor.
CHSW(L.)/315/2015
Mr.M.P.Rao,SeniorCounsela/wShriRajendraKookada,Mr.Harish
PandhyaandRajuGuptai/byRajuGuptaforIntervenor.

WITH
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONSNO.277OF2015WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.138OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015
ArifUsmanKapadia
Vs.
TheStateofMaharashtraandAnr.

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Petitioner
Respondents

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WP/1653/2015
Mr. Firoz Bharucha i/by Pratap Manmohan Nimbalkar, Advocate for
Petitioner.
Mrs.AnjaliHelekar,AGPforRespondentNo.1State.
CHSW/277/2015
Mr.SatyaPrakashSharmai/byAbdi&Co.forapplicant.

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CHS(L)/138/2015
Mr.RakeshKumaralongwithMs.LaxmiNarayanShukla,MissShobha
Mehra and Mr. Shivkumar Mishra i/by Legal Venture for Applicant
Intervenor.

WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.132OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015

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JayostuSwarajyaPrathishthan
Applicant
Inthematterbetween
ArifUsmanKapadia
Petitioner
Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
ThroughtheMinistryof
AnimalHusbandry
Respondent

Mr.SampannaWalawalkara/wMr.DhrutimanJoshii/byBafnaLaw
AssociatesforIntervenor.

WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.120OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015
AbrarQureshi
Applicant
Inthematterbetween
ArifUsmanKapadia
Petitioner
Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
ThroughtheMinistryof
AnimalHusbandry
Respondent

Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounsela/wMr.P.B.Shah,KayvalP.Shahfor
ApplicantIntervenor.

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WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.125OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015

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BharatvarshiyaDigamberJain
Applicant
Inthematterbetween
ArifUsmanKapadia
Petitioner
Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
ThroughtheMinistryof
AnimalHusbandry
Respondent

Mr.J.S.Kinii/byShriSureshDubeyfortheApplicant.

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WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.110OF2015IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015
AllIndiaJainJournalistAssociation(AIJJA)
Applicant
Inthematterbetween
ArifUsmanKapadia
Petitioner
Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
ThroughtheMinistryof
AnimalHusbandry
Respondent

Mr.A.V.Anturkar,SeniorCounselalongwithMr.P.B.Shah,KayvalP.
ShahforApplicantIntervenor.

WITH
CHAMBERSUMMONS(L.)NO.105OF2015
IN
WRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015
AkhilBharatKrishiGosevaSangh
Inthematterbetween
ArifUsmanKapadia

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Applicant
Petitioner

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Vs.
StateofMaharashtra
ThroughtheMinistryof
AnimalHusbandry
Respondent

Mr. A.V. Anturkar, Senior Counsel along with Mr. P.B.Shah, Kayval P.
ShahforApplicantIntervenor.

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WITH
WRITPETITION(L.)NO.3395OF2015

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MayurColdStoragePrivateLimited
Petitioner
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Mr.MihirDesai,SeniorCounselalongwithinstructedbyAmitSurvase,
AdvocateforPetitioner.

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WITH
WRITPETITION(L.)NO.3396OF2015

MaharashtraColdStorageOwnersAssociation
Petitioner
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.
Respondents

Mr. Ashutosh A Kumbhakoni, Senior Counsel alongwith Mr. Rui


RodriqueswithAfrozShah,Mr.UdyanShahandMs.KavishaShahi/by
IndianLawAlliance,AdvocateforPetitioner.

WITH
WRITPETITION(L.)NO.3422OF2015
Mr.WarisPathan
Vs.
StateofMaharashtraandOrs.

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Petitioner
Respondents

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NoneforthePetitioner.

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Mr. Shrihari Aney, Advocate General with Ms. P.H. Kantharia,


Government Pleader, and Mr. Hitesh S. Venegaonkar, Additional
GovernmentPleader,alongwithMrs.AnjaliHelekarandMr.J.S.Saluja,
AGPsforRespondentStateofMaharashtrainalltheaboveOriginal
SidePetitions.

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CORAM:A.S.OKA&S.C.GUPTE,JJ.
JUDGMENTRESERVEDON

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JUDGMENT:
PERA.S.OKA,J

:6THMAY2016

JUDGMENTISPRONOUNCEDON

:8THJANURARY2016

1.

Aspertheadministrativeorderdated17thNovember2015

hasbeenspecificallyassignedtothisspeciallyconstitutedBench.

OVERVIEW

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passedbytheHon'bletheActingChiefJustice,thisgroupofPetitions

2.

The challenge in this group of Petitions is to various

provisionsoftheMaharashtraAnimalPreservationAct,1976(forshort
Animal Preservation Act) as amended by the Maharashtra Animal
Preservation(Amendment)Act,1995 (for short the Amendment Act).
The Amendment Act received the assent of the Hon'ble President of

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Indiaon4thMarch2015.BytheAmendmentAct,inadditiontoexisting

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prohibition on the slaughter of cows, a complete prohibition was

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imposed on slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the State. A ban was

imposed on possessing the flesh of cow, bull or bullock slaughtered


withinandoutsidetheState.Moreover,byintroducingSection9B,at

3.

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thetrialofcertainoffences,anegativeburdenwasputontheaccused.

Before we deal with the facts of each Petition and the

challengestherein,itwillbeconvenient tohaveanoverviewofthe

relevant provisions of the Animal Preservation Act. The Animal


Preservation Act was brought into force with effect from 15 th April,

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1978.ThePreambleoftheunamendedAnimalPreservationActreads
thus:

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AnActtoprovidefortheprohibitionofslaughterof
cowsandforthepreservationofcertainotheranimals
suitable for milch, breeding, draught or agricultural
purposes.
Andwhereasitisexpedienttoprovideforthe
prohibition of slaughter and to provide for matters
connectedtherewith

4.

Section 5 of the Animal Preservation Act prior to its

amendment by the Amendment Act provided for a complete ban on


slaughterofanycowinanyplaceofStateofMaharashtra.SubSections
(1)ofSection6providedthatnopersonshallslaughterorcausetobe
slaughtered any scheduled animal (Bovines namely bulls, bulloks,

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female buffaloes, buffalow calves) in any place in the State of

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Maharashtra unless he has obtained in respect of each animal a

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certificateinwritingfromtheCompetentAuthoritythattheanimalisfit

forslaughter.AsperSection7,ascheduledanimalinrespectofwhich
apermissionunderSection7hasbeengrantedcanbeslaughteredonly
at the place specified by such authority or such officer the State

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Governmentmayappointinthatbehalf. Forthesakeofconvenience,
we are reproducing Sections 5 to 7 of the Animal Preservation Act

beforeitsamendmentwhichreadthus:

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5. Notwithstandinganythingcontainedinanyother
lawforthetimebeinginforceoranyusageor
custom to the contrary no person shall
slaughterorcausetobeslaughteredoroffer
forslaughteranycow,inanyplaceintheState
ofMaharashtra.

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6.

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any


lawforthetimebeinginforceoranyusageor
custom to the contrary, no person shall
slaughter or cause to be slaughtered any
scheduledanimalinanyplaceintheStateof
Maharashtra,unlesshehasobtainedinrespect
ofsuchanimalacertificateinwritingfromthe
competentauthoritythattheanimalisfitfor
slaughter.

(2)

Nocertificate shall be granted under sub


section (1), if in the opinion of the
competentauthority,
(a)

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the scheduled animal, whether male


or female, is or likely to become
economicalforthepurposeofdraught
oranykindofagriculturaloperations;

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thescheduledanimal,ifmale,isoris
likely to become economical for the
purposeofbreeding;

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(b)

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The State Government may, on an


applicationbyanypersonaggrievedbyan
order passed by the competent authority
refusingtogranthimacertificate,madeto
itwithinsixtydaysfromthedateofreceipt
ofsuchorder,oranytimesuomotu,callfor
andexaminetherecordsofthecaseforthe
purpose of satisfying as to the legality or
propriety of any order passed by the
competentauthorityunderthissection,and
pass such order in reference thereto as it
thinksfit.

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(3)

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(c) thescheduledanimal,iffemale,isor
islikelytobecomeeconomicalforthe
purpose of giving milk or bearing
offspring.

A certificate under this section shall be


grantedinsuchformanduponpaymentof
suchfeesasmaybeprescribed.

(5)

Subjecttotheprovisionsofsubsection(3),
any order passed by the competent
authority granting or refusing to grant a
certificate, and any order passed by the
State Government under subsection (3),
shall be final and shall not be called in
questioninanyCourt.

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(4)

7.

No scheduled animal in respect of which a


certificatehasbeenissuedundersection6shall
be slaughter in any place other than a place
specifiedbysuchauthorityorofficerastheState
Governmentmayappointinthatbehalf.
(Emphasisadded)

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The scheduled animal was defined in clause (e) of

Section3.Clause(e)ofSection3readsthus:

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5.

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6.

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(e) Scheduledanimalmeansanyanimalspecified
inthe Schedule;andtheStateGovernmentmay,by
notification in the Official Gazette, add to the
Scheduleanyspeciesofanimals,afterconsideringthe
necessityforpreservationofthatspeciesofanimals;
andtheprovisionsofsubsection(3)ofsection16,in
so far as they shall apply in relation to such
notificationastheyapplytoanyrulemadeunderthat
section.
TheSchedulereadsthus:

[Section3(e)]

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Bovines(bulls,bullocks,famalebuffaloesandbuffalo
calves.)
7.

Section 9 in the unamended Animal Preservation Act

providedforpenaltieswhichreadsthus:

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9. Whoevercontravenesanyof the provisionsof


this Act shall, on conviction, be punished with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to six
months, or with fine which may extend to one
thousandrupees,orwithboth.

8.

Intheyear1995,theMaharashtraStateLegislaturepassed

the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995.


However,the BilldidnotreceivePresidentialassentforconsiderably
longtime. ThePresidentialassentwasreceivedtothesaidBillon4 th
March, 2015. Accordingly, the Amendment Act was published in

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Maharashtra Government Gazette dated 4th March, 2015. The

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AmendmentActwasbroughtintoforceon4 th March,2015.TheLong

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TitleofthePrincipalActaswellasthePreamblewereamendedbythe

Amendment Act. By the Amendment Act, even the Schedule was


amendedandconsequentialamendmentwasmadetoSubSection(4)
ofSection1.Section5wasamendedbyincorporatingwordsbullor

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bullock after the word cow. Sections 5A to 5D were incorporated


after Section 5 of the Principal Act. SubSections (3) and (4) were
addedtoSection8ofthePrincipalAct.Therewereamendmentsmade

toSection9ofthePrincipalAct.Sections9Aand9Bwereaddedbythe
AmendmentAct.TherewereamendmentsmadetoSections10,11and

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14bytheAmendmentAct.
9.

For the sake of convenience, we are reproducing the

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relevantprovisionsoftheamendedAnimalPreservationAct.Thelong
titleandpreamblereadthus:
AnActtoprovidefortheprohibitionofslaughter of
cowsandforthepreservationofcertainotheranimals
suitable for milch, breeding, draught or agricultural
purposes and preservation of cows, bulls and
bullocks useful for milch, breeding, draught or
agricultural purposes and for restriction on
slaughter for the preservation of certain other
animalssuitableforthesaidpurposes.
WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the
prohibition of slaughter of cows and for the
preservationofcertainotheranimalssuitableformilch,
breeding, draught or agricultural purposes and
preservationofcows,bullsandbullocksusefulfor
milch, breeding, draught or agricultural purposes

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andforrestrictiononslaughterforthepreservationof
certainotheranimalssuitableforthesaidpurposesand
toprovideformatterconnectedtherewith.

10.

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(addedportioninboldletters&deletedportions
struckout)
TheamendedSubSection(4)ofSection1readsthus:

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(4)Itshallapplytocows,bullsandbullocksandto
scheduledanimals.
(portioninboldlettersaddedbytheAmendmentAct)

TheamendedSection5readsthus:

11.

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5. Notwithstanding anything contained in any


otherlawforthetimebeinginforceoranyusageor
customtothecontrarynopersonshallslaughteror
causetobeslaughteredorofferforslaughteranycow,
bull or bullock, in any place in the State of
Maharashtra.
(Addedportioninboldletters)

12.

Sections 5A to 5D incorporated by the Amendment Act

readthus:
5A. (1) No person shall transport or offer for
transport or cause to be transported cow, bull or
bullockfromanyplacewithintheStatetoanyplace
outside the State for the purpose of its slaughter in
contraventionoftheprovisionsofthisActorwiththe
knowledge that it will be or is likely to be, so
slaughtered.
(2) Nopersonshallexportorcausetobeexported
outsidetheStateofMaharashtracow,bullorbullock
forthepurposeofslaughtereitherdirectlyorthrough

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hisagentorservantoranyotherpersonactingonhis
behalf,incontraventionoftheprovisionsofthisActor
with the knowledge that it will be or is likely to be
slaughtered.
5B. No person shall purchase, sell or otherwise
dispose of or offer to purchase, sell or otherwise
dispose of any cow, bull or bullock for slaughter or
knowing or havingreason to believe that suchcow,
bullorbullockshallbeslaughtered.

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5C. Notwithstanding anything contained in any


otherlawforthetimebeinginforce,nopersonshall
haveinhispossessionfleshofanycow,bullorbullock
slaughteredincontraventionoftheprovisionsofthis
Act.

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5D. Nopersonshallhaveinhispossessionfleshof
anycow,bullorbullockslaughteredoutsidetheState
ofMaharashtra.

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13.

Sections8and9asamendedreadthus:
8. (1) For the purpose of this Act, the competent
authorityoranypersonauthorizedinwritinginthat
behalfbythecompetentauthority(hereinafterinthis
section referred to as the authorized person) shall
havepowertoenterandinspectanyplacewherethe
competent authority or the authorized person has
reason to believe that an offence under this Act has
been,orislikelytobe,committed.
(2) Every person in occupation of any such place
shall allow the competent authority or authorized
personsuchaccesstothatplaceasmaybenecessary
fortheaforesaidpurposeandshallanswertothebest
ofhisknowledgeandbeliefanyquestionputtohimby
thecompetentauthorityortheauthorizedperson.
(3) AnyPoliceOfficernotbelowtherankofSub
Inspectororanypersonauthorizedinthisbehalfby
theStateGovernment,may,withaviewtosecuring
complianceofprovisionsofSection5A,5B,5Cor

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5D,forsatisfyinghimselfthattheprovisionsofthe
saidsectionshavebeencompliedwithmay

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(a) enter, stop and search, or authorize


anyperson to enter, stop and search
and search any vehicle used or
intendedtobeusedfortheexportof
cow,bullorbullock;

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(b) seizeorauthorizetheseizureofcow,
bullorbullockinrespectofwhichhe
suspects that any provision of
sections,5A,5B,5Cor5Dhasbeenis
being or is about to be contravened,
alongwith the vehicles in which such
cow, bull or bullock are found and
there after take or authorize the
taking of all measures necessary for
securing the production of such cow,
bull or bullock and the vehicles so
seized, in a court and for their safe
custodypendingsuchproduction.

Provided that pending trial, seized cow, bull or


bullock shall be handed over to the nearest
Gosadan,Goshala,Panjrapole,HinsaNivaranSangh
orsuchotherAnimalWelfareOrganisationswilling
to accept such custody and the accused shall be
liabletopayfortheirmaintenancefortheperiod
they remain in custody with any of the said
institutions or organizations as per the orders of
theCourt.
(4) TheprovisionsoftheSection100ofCodeof
Criminal Procedure, 1973 relating to search and
seizure and shall, so far as may be, apply to
searchesandseizuresunderthisSection.
(portioninboldlettersaddedbyAmendment)
9. WhoevercontravenestheprovisionsofSection
5, 5A or 5B shall, on conviction, be punished with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to five
years,orwithfinewhichmayextendtotenthousand
rupees,orwithboth.

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Providedthatexceptforspecialandadequate
reasonstoberecordedinthejudgmentofthecourt
such imprisonment shall not be of less than six
months and such fine shall not be less than one
thousandrupees.
(portioninboldlettersaddedbyAmendment)
14.

Sections9Aand9Basamendedreadthus:

In any trial for an offence punishable under


sections 9 or 9A for contravention of the
provisionsofthisAct,theburdenofprovingthat
theslaughter,transport,exportoutsidetheState,
sale,purchaseorpossessionoffleshofcow,bull
or bullock was not in contravention of the
provisionsofthisActshallbeontheaccused.

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9B.

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9A. Whoever contravenes the provisions of sections


5C,5D,or6shallonconvictionbepunishedwith
imprisonment for a term which may extend to
one year or fine which may extend to two
thousandrupees.

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15.

Section10asamendedreadsthus:
10. NotwithstandinganythingcontainedintheCode
of Criminal Procedure, 1973, all offences under this
Actshallbecognizableandnonbailable.

(portioninboldlettersaddedbyAmendment)
16.Forthesakeofcompletion,wemayalsomakeareferenceto
thestatementofobjectsandreasonsoftheAmendmentActwhichreads
thus:
1. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976
(Mah.IXof1977),hasbeenbroughtintoforcein
theStatefromthe15thApril1978.TheActtotally
prohibits in any place in the State, slaughter of
cowswhichalsoincludeheiferandmaleorfemale

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calfofcowandprovidesforpreservationofcertain
otheranimalsspecifiedinthescheduletotheAct,
like bulls, bullocks, female buffaloes and buffalo
calves.Section6oftheActempowersthepersons
appointedascompetentauthorityunderthisActto
issue certificate for slaughter of the scheduled
animals,butsuchcertificateisnottobegrantedif
in the opinion of that competent authority the
animalisorislikelytobecomeusefulfordraught,
agricultural operations, breeding, giving milk or
bearingoffspring.
The economyof the State of Maharashtra isstill
predominantly agricultural. In the agricultural
sector,useofcattleformilch,draught,breedingor
agriculturalpurposesalwayshasgreatimportance.
It has, therefore, become necessary to emphasis
preservationandprotectionofagriculturalanimals
likebullsandbullocks.Withthegrowingadoption
of nonconventional energy sources like biogas
plants,evenwastematerialhavecometoassume
considerable value. After the cattle cease to be
usefulforthepurposeofbreedingoraretoooldto
dowork,theystillcontinuetogivedungforfuel,
manure and biogas and, therefore, they cannot,
any any time, be said to be useless. It is well
acceptedthatthebackboneofIndianagricultureis,
inamannerofspeaking,thecowandherprogeny
andtheyhave,ontheirback,thewholestructure
oftheIndianagricultureanditseconomicsystem.

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2.

3.

Inordertoachievetheaboveobjectiveandalsoto
ensure effective implementation of the policy of
State Government towards securing the directive
principles laid down in article 48 of the
ConstitutionofIndiaandinlargerpublicinterest,
it is considered expedient by the Government of
Maharashtra to impose total prohibition on
slaughterofalsotheprogenyofcow.Certainother
provisions which it is felt by the Government
wouldhelpineffectingtheimplementationofsuch
total ban are also being incorporated such as
provisionforprohibitiononthetransport,export,
saleorpurchaseoftheabovecategoryofcattlefor
slaughter,inregardtoentry,searchandseizureof
theplaceandvehicleswherethereisasuspicionof

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17.

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such offences being committed, provision placing


the burden of proof on the accused, provision
regardingcustodyoftheseizedcattle,pendingtrial
with the Goshala or Panjarapole or such other
AnimalWelfareOrganisationswhicharewillingto
acceptsuchcustodyandtheprovisionrelatingto
liability for the payment of maintenance of such
seizedcattlefortheperiodtheyremainedinthe
custodyofanyofsuchcharitableorganisationsby
the accused. It is also being provided for
enhancement of penalty of imprisonment for
certainkindofoffencesundersection9oftheAct
fromsixmonthstofiveyearsandoffineofone
thousandrupeestotenthousandrupeesandwitha
viewtocurbthetendencytowardssuchoffences
also making such offences nonbailable so as to
serveasdeterrent.

Broadly, it can be said that by the Amendment Act, a

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completebanonslaughterofbullsandbullocksintheStatehasbeen
imposed by amending Section 5 of the Animal Preservation Act in
additiontocompletebanontheslaughterofCowwhichwasalready

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provided in unamended Section 5. Under the unamended Animal


Preservation Act, bulls and bullocks were scheduled animals which
couldbeslaughteredonlyafterobtainingacertificateoftheCompetent
AuthorityinaccordancewithSubSection(1)ofSection6.SubSection
(2)ofSection6providedthatnocertificateascontemplatedbySub
Section(1)wouldbegrantedunlesstheconditionsspecifiedinSub
Section (2) were satisfied. Now after the coming into force of the
AmendmentAct,onlyfemalebuffalosandbuffalocalvescontinuetobe
scheduledanimalsasbullsandbullockshavebeenremovedfromthe
Schedule.ByintroducingSection5A,acompletebanontransportof

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cow,bullorbullockfromanyplaceintheStatetoanyplaceoutsidethe

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Stateforthepurposeofitsslaughterhasbeenimposed. Bythesame

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Section,acompletebanonexportoutsidetheStateofMaharashtraof
cow,bullandbullockforthepurposeofslaughterhasbeenimposed.

Section5Bprovidesforabanonpurchase,saleorotherwisedisposalof
any cow, bull or bullock for its slaughter. Importantly, Section 5C

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imposesaprohibitiononanypersonpossessingfleshofanycow,bullor
bullock slaughtered in contravention of the provisions of the Animal
PreservationAct.Section5Dprovidesthatnopersonshallhaveinhis

possession flesh of any cow, bull or bullock slaughtered outside the

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StateofMaharashtra.

18.

Correspondingly,byintroducingSection9A,itisprovided

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thatviolationofSections5C,5Dor6shallbeanoffence.Byamending
Section 9, even violation of Sections 5A and 5B has been made an
offence. A very drastic provision putting a negative burden on the
accusedatthetimeoftrialoftheoffencespunishableunderSections9
and9AhasbeenintroducedbywayofSection9B.Section9Bprovides
thatatthetimeofthetrial,theburdenofprovingthattheslaughter,
transport,export,sale,purchaseorpossessionoffleshofcow,bullor
bullock was not in contravention of the provisions of the Animal
PreservationActshallbeontheaccused.

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19.

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There are large number of Petitions in this group which

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seek to challenge the constitutional validity of various provisions

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broughtonthestatutebookbytheAmendmentAct.Beforeweadvert
tothesubmissionsmadeacrosstheBar,weproposetobrieflyreferto
thefactsofeachcaseandtheprayersmadetherein.

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PRAYERS IN THE WRIT PETITIONS AND PUBLIC


INTERESTLITIGATIONS
ORIGINALSIDEWPNO.1314OF2015
The Petitioner in this Petition is a designated Senior

20.

AdvocateofthisCourt.ThechallengeinthisWritPetitionunderArticle

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226oftheConstitutionofIndiaisconfinedtotheconstitutionalvalidity
ofSections5Dand9AoftheAnimalPreservationActasamendedby

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the Amendment Act. The contention is that Sections 5D and 9A are


ultravirestheConstitutionofIndia.Itiscontendedthatrighttoprivacy
is included in the right to life guaranteed by the Article 21 of the
ConstitutionofIndia.Itiscontendedthatrighttopersonallibertyand
privacyincludestherighttochoosewhatacitizenmayeat/consume.It
iscontendedthattheimpugnedSectionsseektopreventacitizenfrom
possessingfleshofcow,bullorbullockwhichisslaughteredoutsidethe
Statewherethereisnoprohibitiononslaughter.Itiscontendedthatthe
impugnedprovisionsareexfaciearbitraryandhavenonexuswiththe
purpose, object and ambit of the Animal Preservation Act. It is

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contended that the provisions are violative of Article 14 of the

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ConstitutionofIndia.Itiscontendedthatthesaidamendedprovisions

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arecontrarytotheobjectofArticle48oftheConstitutionofIndia.Itis
urgedthattheamendedSectionsputrestrictionsonInterStatetrade

and commerce contrary to the provisions of Article 301 of the


ConstitutionofIndia.Variousothercontentionsareraisedsuchasthe

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amendedprovisionsareinviolationofrightofpreservationofculture
andviolationofrighttolife.

The State Government has relied upon the affidavits in

21.

replyfiledbyitin WritPetition No.1653of 2015for defending this

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Petition.Moreover,inthisPetition,thereisareplydated17 thJuly,2015
filed by the State Government by Shri Shashank Madhav Sathe, the

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DeputySecretary(AnimalHusbandry),Agriculture,AnimalHusbandry,
DairyDevelopmentandFisheriesDepartmentoftheStateGovernment.
Acontentionhasbeenraisedinthesaidaffidavitthattheimpugned
provisionshavebeenmadeforgivingeffecttoArticles48and51A(g)of
theConstitutionofIndia.Therefore,itiscontendedthatnopartofthe
Amendment Act can be called in question on the ground that it is
inconsistentwithorittakesawayanyoftherightsconferredbyArticles
14and19oftheConstitutionofIndia.Itiscontendedthatthebullsand
bullocks are useful not only as draught animals, for agricultural
operationsandbreedingbuttheyneverbecomeuselessandcontinueto

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beusefulfortheirwastematerialwhichisasourceoffuel,manure,

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fertilizerandbiogas.Itiscontendedthatthedungaswellasurineof

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thecowaswellasitsprogenyarevaluableandareusedforvermi

compostandbiomanurewhichisusedtoimprovethequalityofsoil,
land as well as nutritional value of the agricultural produce. It is
contendedthatthereisascientificevidencetopointoutthattheflesh

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ofcowanditsprogenycontainshighsaturatedfatsandcholesterol.Itis
pointed out that it can be a major cause of heart disease, diabetes,
obesityandcancer.Wemustnotethatthiscontentionisnotpressed

intoservicebytheStateGovernmentatthetimeoffinalhearing.Inthe
subsequentdetailedaffidavitofthesameofficerfiledafternoticefor

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final hearing was issued, the said contention is not incorporated.


RelianceisplacedonLivestockCensusofIndiawhichshowsconsistent

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decrease in the cattle population of India. Various figures are relied


upon.ShriRajenderKumarK.Joshi,anIntervenorhasfiledanaffidavit
in support of the State Government. There is a Chamber Summons
No.264 of 2015 taken out by Shri Ghanashyam Upadhyay for
intervention. The said intervenor is a practising Advocate. The
interventionisforsupportingtheState.

22.

This Petition along with other connected Petitions were

admittedforfinalhearingbytheJudgmentandOrderdated29 thApril,
2015 by granting limited adinterim relief directing the State

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Governmentnottotakecoercivestepsforthepurposeofinitiatingany

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prosecutionofthosewhoarefoundtobeinpossessionofbeef.

ORIGINALSIDEPUBLICINTERESTLITIGATION
NO.76OF2015
23.

In this Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of

India,adeclarationissoughtthattheAmendmentActisviolativeof

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various provisions of the Constitution of India and be declared as


illegal,ultraviresandvoid.ThefirstPetitionerinthesaidPILclaimsto

beafilmmakerandthesecondPetitionerwhoishiswifeisclaimingto
be a writer. The third Petitioner is an Advocate by profession. It is

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alleged that the provisions of the Amendment Act are in breach of


Articles19,21and29andthesaidprovisionscontravenetheDirective
PrinciplesofStatePolicyincorporatedunderArticles47,48,48Aand

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51A. It is urged that the Amendment Act violates the fundamental


rightsguaranteedunderArticle19(1)(g)oftheConstitutionofIndiaof
theownersofthecattle,cattledealersandbutchersandbeefsellersand
theownersofleatherindustry. Thestatisticsofmilkproductionand
otherdetailshavebeenincorporatedinthePetition.Thereisadetailed
affidavitinreplydated1st December2015ofShriShashankMadhav
SathefiledinthesaidWritPetitionalongwiththeannexuresthereto.
We have reproduced the details set out in the said reply in the
subsequentpartoftheJudgment.Thereisarejoinderfiledbythethird
Petitioner. There is an application for intervention being Chamber

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Summons(L.)No.389of2013takenoutbyViniyogParivarTrust.The

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interventionisforopposingthePetition.

ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITIONNO.1975OF2015
24.

In this Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of

IndiathereisaprayermadefordeclarationthatSection5oftheAnimal

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Preservation Act as amended by the Amendment Act is ultravires


Article19oftheConstitutionofIndiasofarasitprohibitsslaughterof
bullsandbullocks. A writ of mandamusis prayed for directingthe

Statetoprohibitslaughterofonlythosebullsandbullockswhichare
notusefulforvariouspurposes.Thereisaprayerforchallengingthe

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relevantprovisionsoftheAmendmentAct. ThefirstPetitionerinthis
Petitionisinvolvedinthetrade,saleandpurchaseofbullsandbullocks

there is a Chamber Summons taken out being Chamber Summons


No.306 of 2015 by Viniyog Pariwar Trust for intervention. The
interventionisforopposingthePetition.

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andthesecondPetitionerisabutcherbyprofession.InthisWritPetition

ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITIONNO.2680OF2015
25.

This Petition again seeks to challenge the validity of

amendedSection5oftheAnimalPreservationActinsofarasitprohibits
slaughter of bulls and bullocks by claiming that it is ultravires the
amendedPreambleandlongtitleoftheAnimalPreservationAct.There

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is also a challenge to the validity of Sections 5A to 5D. The first

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PetitionerinthePetitionisabusinessmanandthesecondPetitionerisa

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practising Advocate. There is a prayer for directing the State

Governmenttoprohibitslaughterofonlythosebullsandbullockswhich
arenotuseful.Thereisalsoaprayermadeseekingawritofmandamus
againsttheStateGovernmentformakingbullsandbullocksavailable

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forsacrificeontheauspiciousoccasionofBakraEid(IdUlAzha). In
thisPetition,thereisaNoticeofMotiontakenoutprayingforinterim
relief which is confined to occasion of BakraEid held on 25 to 27 th

September,2015. In thisPetition,there isa Chamber Summons(L.)


No.455/2015 taken out by Ekta Foundation for intervention. The

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interventionisforopposingtheprayersmadeinthePetition.

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ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITION(L.)NO.2566OF2015

26.

ThisWritPetitionunderArticle226oftheConstitutionof

IndiahasbeenfiledbythePetitionerswhoareclaimingtobeactive
socialworkersengagedinsocial,agriculturalandwelfareactivitiesfor
the upliftment of poor and downtrodden in the society. The prayer
made in this Writ Petition is for a declaration that the Animal
Preservation Act and the Amendment Act are unconstitutional.
Chamber Summons (L.) No.456 of 2015 has been filed in this Writ
Petition for intervention by Karuna Animal Welfare Trust. The
interventionisforopposingtheWritPetition.

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This Petition has been filed for challenging the

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ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITION(L)NO.1109OF2015

constitutionalvalidityofSections5,5A,5C,5D,6aswellasSections9
and9AoftheAnimalPreservationAct.Thereare29Petitionersinthis
Petition.Someofthemareactivists.Someofthemareclaimingtobe

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beefeaters.SomeofthemareDoctorsandjournalists. Someofthem
are film producers and womens' rights activist. One of them is the
PresidentoftheBeefMarketMerchants'Association,Sangli.Chamber

SummonsNo.315of2015hasbeenfiledbyViniyogParivarTrustinthis

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Petitionforintervention.TheIntervenorsdesiretoopposethePetition.

ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITIONNO.1653OF2015

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28.

The Petitioner, who is a citizen of India, has filed this

PetitionforadeclarationthattheprovisionsofSections5Dand9Aof
theAnimalPreservationActareunconstitutional,illegalandnulland
void.ChamberSummons(L.)Nos.132of2015,105of2015,110of
2015, 120 of 2015 and 125 of 2015 have been filed by various
IntervenorsforclaiminginterventionintheWritPetition.Someofthe
IntervenorswanttosupportthePetitionerandsomeofthemdesireto
opposethePetitioner.ThereisadetailedaffidavitinreplyfiledbyShri
ShashankSatheonbehalfoftheStateGovernment.

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29.

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ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITION(L)NO.3395OF2015

This Writ Petition is filed by a Private Limited Company

whichishavingcoldstorageslocatedintheState.Thebusinessofthe
Petitioner is of running cold storages of perishable food items and

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allowing storage of perishable food items on payment of licence fee


therein.InthisPetition,adeclarationisclaimedthatSections5Cand
5DoftheAnimalPreservationActintroducedbytheAmendmentAct

areunconstitutional.SimilarprayerismadeinrespectofSections8(3)
(b), 9A and 9B. In the alternative, it is prayed that the word

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possession used in Sections 5C and 5D be read as conscious


possession.Thereisafurtherprayermadeinthealternativethatthe

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word suspects in Section 8(3)(b) be read as reasons to belief/


groundsofbelief. OneofthecontentionsraisedisthattheStateis
not competent to enact a law prohibiting an entry into the State of
Maharashtraofthefleshofcows,bullsorbullockswhichislawfully
slaughtered outside the State. Another contention is of violation of
fundamentalrightsunderArticle19(1)(g)oftheConstitutionofIndia.
ItisallegedthatSections5Cand5DareinviolationofArticle301read
withArticle304(b)oftheConstitutionofIndia.

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30.

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ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITION(L.)NO.3396OF2015

ThisPetitionisfiledforadeclarationthatSections5Cand

5DoftheAnimalPreservationActareunconstitutional.ThisPetitionis
filedbyan Association of ColdStorage Ownersin Maharashtra.The

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challengesaresimilartothoseinWritPetition(L.)No.3395of2015.

31.

ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITION(L.)NO.3422OF2015

ThisWritPetitionhasbeenfiledbythePetitionerwhoisan

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Advocatebyprofessionandwhoisclaimingtobeasocialactivist.Heis
alsoanelectedmemberoftheMaharashtraLegislativeAssembly.Inthis

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Petition,thechallengeistothevalidityoftheentireAmendmentAct
mainly on the ground of infringement of fundamental rights under
Articles21and25oftheConstitutionofIndia.

APPELLATESIDEWRITPETITIONNO.9209OF2015
32.

This Petition has been filed by the Indian Union Muslim

League.InthesaidPetition,thereisachallengetotheconstitutional
validityoftheAmendmentActbasedonviolationoffundamentalrights
under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. It is contended that
sacrificeofbullsandbullocksisanessentialpartoffestivalofEidUl

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AdhaandEidulFitr.ViolationofArticle48isallegedinthisPetition.It

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iscontendedthattheAmendmentActinfringesthefundamentalright

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ofthecitizensunderArticles14,21,25and29oftheConstitutionof
India.

APPELLATESIDEWRITPETITIONNO.9996OF2015

This Writ Petition has been filed by JamatulQuresh

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33.

Minority Association and others wherein the challenge is to the


constitutional validity of the Amendment Act on the ground that it

violatesthefundamentalrightsunderArticles14,19(1)(g),21and25
of the Constitution of India. Various Associations and Educational

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SocietiesofthemembersoftheQureshCommunityarethePetitioners.
ItisstatedthattheQureshicommunityismainlyengagedinbutcher's

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tradeanditssubsidiaryundertakingssuchassaleoftannery,etc.There
isanadditionalaffidavitfiledbythePetitionersgivingstatistics.The
Petitionershaverelieduponvariousreports.

APPELLATESIDEWRITPETITIONNO.11744OF2015
34.

ThisPetitionhasbeenfiledbyoneAnnaBaburaoNigade

and another. In this Petition, the challenge is to the constitutional


validityofSections5,5A,5B,8,9and11oftheAnimalPreservation
ActasamendedbytheAmendmentAct.Itiscontendedthatthesaid
amendedSectionsareultravirestheConstitutionastheyviolatethe

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fundamentalrightsguaranteedunderArticles14,19(1)(g),21and25

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of the Constitution of India. The Petitioners claim that they are the

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ownersofcows,bullsandbullocksandtheyareengagedinagricultural

activity.ThereisanapplicationforinterventionfiledbyShriRamesh
DhanrajPurohitwhowantstoopposethePetition.

35.

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APPELLATESIDEPUBLICINTERESTLITIGATION
NO.127OF2015

ThisPILisfiledbyoneMohd.HishamOsmanis/oMohd.

YusufOsmaniandanother.TheprayerinthisPetitionisforquashing
andsettingasidethenotificationdated4 th March,2015bywhichthe

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Amendment Act was published in the Government Gazette. The


challengetotheamendedprovisionsoftheAnimalPreservationActis
essentiallytoSection5and5Ato5D.Thechallengeisonthegroundof

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violationoffundamentalrights.
APPELLATESIDEPUBLICINTERESTLITIGATION
NO.133OF2015
36.

ThisPetitionisfiledbyoneShriSheikhAasifSheikhRashid

andanother.ThefirstPetitionerisamemberoftheLegislativeAssembly
andasocialworker.InthisPIL,thechallengeistotheletterdated17 th
April, 2015 issued by the second Respondent who is a Government
OfficerinformingthefirstPetitionerthattheslaughterofcows,bulls
andbullockshasbeenbannedintheStatewitheffectfrom4 thMarch,

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2015.ThereisachallengetotheconstitutionalvalidityofSection5D

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and9AoftheAnimalPreservationActasamendedbytheAmendment

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Act.Thechallengeisonthegroundofviolationoffundamentalrights
underArticle19(1)(g)oftheConstitutionofIndia.

ORIGINALSIDEWRITPETITIONNO.1379OF2015
ThefirstandthirdPetitionersareAdvocatesbyprofession.

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37.

ThesecondPetitionerisastudent.Thechallengeinthispetitionunder
Article226istotheconstitutionalvalidityoftheentireAmendmentAct

on the grounds of the violation of Articles 19 and 21 of the


Constitution.ItiscontendedthattheamendmentiscontrarytoArticle

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48.

APPELLATESIDEWRITPETITIONNO.5731OF2015
In this Petition, the challenge is to the constitutional

validityofalltheprovisionsoftheUnamendedprovisionsoftheAnimal
PreservationActandtheAmendmentActonthegroundthatthesame
infringeArticles15,16,19,21and25oftheConstitutionofIndia.

om

38.

A SUMMARY OF THE SUMMISSIONS CANVASSED


ACROSSTHEBAR
39.

Detailedsubmissionsweremade bythepartiesincluding

the Intervenors. Some of the submissions are common. We are


reproducingasummaryoftherelevantsubmissionsmadeonbehalfof
theparties.
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40.

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fleshmatter draft 5

InWritPetitionNo.1314of2015,ShriChinoy,thelearned

rt

senior counsel made detailed submissions. He pointed out the

C
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unamendedprovisionsoftheAnimalPreservationActandthenatureof
theamendmentsincorporatedbytheAmendmentAct.Healsoinvited
our attention to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the
AmendmentAct.HepointedoutthatthenewlyintroducedSection5D

ig
h

prohibitsanypersonfrompossessingfleshofanycow,bullorbullock
slaughtered outside the State of Maharashtra. He pointed out that
violationofthisprovisionismadepunishablewithimprisonmentupto

oneyearand/orfineuptoRs.2,000/.Aftermakingareferencetothe
StatementofObjectsandReasonsoftheAmendmentAct,heurgedthat

ba
y

the StatementofObjectsand Reasonsdoesnotcontain anybasisor


reasonforintroductionofSection5D. Hepointedoutthatevenifa

om

coworbullorbullockisslaughteredataplaceoutsidetheStatewhere
thereisnoprohibitionontheslaughter,thepossessionofthemeatof
suchcow,bullorbullockintheStateismadeanoffence.Heurgedthat
Section5DconstitutesaclearinfringementofthePetitioners'rightto
personalliberty(whichincludesrighttoeatfoodofone'schoice)and
privacyguaranteedunderArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia. He
extensively relied upon a decision of the Apex Court in the case of
Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh1. He urged that the said
decisionholdsthatthetermpersonallibertyusedinArticle21ofthe
ConstitutionofIndiaisacompendioustermwhichincludeswithinitself
1 (1964)1 SCR 332

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allvarietiesofrightswhichgotomakeuppersonallibertiesofaman.

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RelyinguponanotherdecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofManeka

C
ou

Gandhiv.UnionofIndia2, heurgedthatArticle21isofthewidest
amplitude anditcoversavarietyofrightswhichgotoconstitutethe
personallibertyofamanandsomeofthemhavebeenraisedtothe

status of distinct fundamental rights and given additional protection

ig
h

underArticle19. HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthe
caseof R.Rajagopalv.StateofTamilNadu3.Hesubmittedthatthe
ApexCourthasheldthattherighttoprivacyisimplicitintherightto

life and liberty guaranteed to the citizens by Article 21 of the


ConstitutionofIndia.HeurgedthattheApexCourtheldthatrightof

ba
y

privacyisimplicitinArticle21.Thesaidrightofprivacyistherightto
beletalone. HesubmittedthatthisviewtakenbytheApexCourtin

om

thecaseofR.Rajagopalhasbeenreiteratedinitsdecisioninthecase
of District Registrar & Collector, Hyderabad v. Canara Bank 4. By
pointingoutthedecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofM.P.Sharma
andothersv.SatishChandra5,hesubmittedthattheApexCourthas
notconsideredthequestionwhetherrighttoprivacyisapartofright
topersonallibertyguaranteedunderArticle21oftheConstitutionof
India. He pointed out that in the decision in the case of Hinsa
Virodhak Sangh v. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamat and others 6, the
2 (1978)1 SCC 248
3 (1994) 6 SCC 632
4 (2005) 1 SCC 496
5 AIR 1954 SC 300
6 (2008)5 SCC 33

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fleshmatter draft 5

ApexCourthasobservedthatwhatoneeatsisone'spersonalaffairand

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itisapartofhisrighttoprivacywhichisincludedinArticle21ofthe

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ConstitutionofIndia. HereliedupontherecentdecisionoftheApex

Court in the case of National Legal Services Authorityv.Unionof


India7 whichholdsthatArticle21takesallthoseaspectswhichgoto
makeacitizen'slifemeaningfulanditprotectspersonalautonomyand

ig
h

right of privacy. He submitted that the essence of personal liberty


guaranteedbyArticle21isthepersonalautonomyofanindividualand
itisarighttobeletalone.Hewouldurgethatthenegativerightisnot

tobesubjectedtointerferencebyothersandthepositiverightofan
individualistomakeadecisionabouthislife. Theserightsarethe

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essence of personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the


ConstitutionofIndia. Hepointedoutthatthepersonallibertyunder

om

Article21isacompendioustermwhichcoversvarietyofrightswhich
constitute the personal liberty of a man. He pointed out the
observationsmadeinParagraph17ofthedecisionoftheApexCourtin
thecaseofKharakSinghtotheeffectthattherighttoprivacyisnota
guaranteed right under the Constitution. He also pointed out the
observationsmadebytheApexCourtinthecaseof M.P.Sharmav.
SatishChandra totheeffectthatthereisnojustificationtoimporta
totallynewfundamentalrightbysomestrainedprocessofconstruction.
HealsopointedoutthattheobservationsmadebytheApexCourtina
recentorderbywhichareferencewasmadetoalargerbench.Thesaid
7

(2014) 5 SCC 438

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fleshmatter draft 5

order is in the case of K.S. Puttuswami (Retired) and Another v.

rt

UnionofIndia8.HeurgedthatthePetitionerisnotclaimingthatthe

C
ou

rightofprivacyasanindependentfundamentalrightasdistinctfrom
the right of personal liberty. He urged that the contention of the
Petitioneristhattherighttoprivacyisimplicitinthepersonalliberty
guaranteedunderArticle21.HesubmittedthatthechallengetoSection

ig
h

5DbythePetitionerisbasedontheviolationofrighttopersonalliberty.
HepointedoutthatwhenthePetitionerisalleginginfringementofright
of privacy, the right is invoked is a component or constituent of

personalliberty. Heurgedthatthe decisioninthecaseof Kharak


Singhwasbasedontheconceptofpersonallibertyandnotontheright

ba
y

ofprivacy.HeurgedthatinthecaseofR.Rajagopal,theApexCourt
hasproceededonthefootingthatrightofprivacywasimplicitinorwas

om

equivalenttopersonallibertyandpersonalautonomy. Heurgedthat
eveninthecaseofHinsaVirodhakSangh,whentheApexCourtheld
thattherighttochooseone'sfoodisapartofrightofprivacy,theApex
Court proceeded on the footing that it is a component or a part of
personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of
India. Heinvitedourattentiontothemajorityandminorityviewsin
thecaseofKharakSingh.Hesubmittedthattheratioofthedecision
in the case of Kharak Singh is that the personal liberty guaranteed
underArticle21isacompendioustermwhichincludesallvarietiesof
rightswhichgotomakeupthepersonallibertiesof amani.e.the
8

(2015) 8 SCC 735

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fleshmatter draft 5

personal autonomy to live his life in the manner he chooses. He

rt

submittedthatthiswouldincludetherightofanindividualtoeatfood

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ou

ofhischoice.Heurgedthatifthereisanymaterialtangiblerestriction
on,andinterferencebytheStatewith,thepersonalautonomy/personal
liberty, it would violate Article 21 of the Constitution of India. He
submittedthatinthedecisioninthecaseof M.P.Sharma,theApex

ig
h

Court observed that right of privacy has not been recognized in the
Constitutionasaseparatefundamentalright.HeurgedthattheApex
Courtinthedecisionsinthecasesof R.Rajagopalv.StateofTamil

Nadu,theDistrictRegistrar&Collectorv.CanaraBank and Hinsa


Virodhak Sangh v. Mirzapur was dealing with direct and tangible

ba
y

intrusionsinto,andrestrictionson,personalautonomy/personalliberty.
Hepointedoutthatthesedecisionsholdthatsuch intrusions intoor

om

restrictions on the personal autonomy were violative of the right to


privacy which was equated with the personal liberty/personal
autonomy.Hepointedoutthatthesejudgmentsholdthatacitizenwas
protectedagainstsuchintrusions/restrictionsbyArticle21. Heurged
thatinParagraph17ofthedecisioninthecaseof KharakSingh,the
term right to privacy has been referred in the restrictive sense
pertaining only to mere mental sensitiveness in contradistinction to
personalautonomy/personalliberty.HepointedoutthatinParagraph
13ofthesamedecision,righttoprivacyisusedasconnotingapersonal
autonomy/personalliberty.HepointedoutthattheApexCourtinthe

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fleshmatter draft 5

caseofK.S.Puttuswami(Retired)andAnotherv.UnionofIndiawas

rt

dealingwiththerighttoprivacy.HepointedoutthattheApexCourt

C
ou

wasdealingwiththecaseof AdharCardScheme. Heurgedthateven


thedecisioninthecaseofK.S.Puttuswamidoesnotinanywaydetract
fromtheundisputablepositionthatthedirectortangiblerestrictions

on, and interference by the State, on personal autonomy/personal

ig
h

liberty which includes choice of food would necessarily violate the


Article21oftheConstitutionofIndia.

He submitted that any restrictions on the right of an

41.

individualwhichviolatesArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndiacanbe

ba
y

sustainedonlyiftheStateestablishestheexistenceofcompellingState
interest. Hesubmittedthateventhepleaofexistenceofcompelling

om

Stateinterestissubjecttoscrutinyonthegroundofreasonablenessand
proportionalityoftheintrusionvisavisthecompellingstateinterest.

42.

His submission is that Section 5D imposes a direct and

tangiblerestriction/prohibitionontherightofthepersonallibertyand
privacy of the Petitioner inasmuch as it purports to prohibit the
Petitionerfromeatingthefoodofhischoice. Heurgedthatthesaid
SectionwhichpurportstoprohibitthePetitionerfromeatingthefoodof
his choice (flesh of cow, bull or bullock) which is not generated by
illegalslaughterintheStateisadirectinterferencewiththePetitioner's

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personalautonomyandpersonalliberty.Heurgedthatitisnotthecase

rt

made out by the State that it is injurious to eat the meat of bulls,

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bullocks or cows. He clarified that the Petitioner is not claiming a


positiverighttobeprovidedwiththefoodofhischoiceasapartofhis
righttolife.HereiteratedthatthecasemadeoutbythePetitioneris

thathisrighttopersonallibertywhichincludespersonalautonomy,the

ig
h

righttobeletaloneandtolivehislifewithoutinterference,isinfringed
bySection5D.Hepointedoutthattherighttoprivacywhichisapart
ofthepersonallibertyisinfringed. Relyinguponthedecisionofthe

ApexCourtinthecaseofNationalLegalServicesAuthorityv.Union
ofIndia,hesubmittedthatwhatisheldbytheApexCourtisthatthe

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y

personalautonomyincludesboththenegativerightnottobesubjected
tointerferencebyothersandthepositiverightofindividualstomake

om

decisionsabouttheirlife. Hesubmittedthattheconceptofpersonal
autonomyistheessenceofpersonallibertyandtherighttoexercise
personalchoiceregardingdiverseaspectsofhislifeconstitutespersonal
libertyofaman. RelyingupontheprovisionsoftheFoodSafetyand
StandardsAct,2006andtheRegulationsframedthereunder,heurged
thatbovinefleshhasbeenstatutorilyacceptedasanutritiousfood.He
urgedthatinanyeventtheStatehasnotplacedanymaterialonrecord
toshowthattheconsumptionofbovinefleshisharmfultothehuman
health. He submitted that Section 5D violates personal liberty
guaranteedunderArticle21.Asheldinthecaseof DeenaaliasDeen

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fleshmatter draft 5

Dayalv.UnionofIndia9,theburdenisontheStatetoplacematerialto

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establish compelling state interest or necessity. He urged that in

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supportofSection5D,nosuchmaterialhasbeenplacedonrecordby

the State. Relyingupon variousdecisionsofthe ApexCourtandin


particularthedecisionsinthecasesof ManekaGandhiv.Unionof
India and DelhiTransportCorporationv.DTCMazdoorCongress10

ig
h

he urged that the doctrine of pith and substance is not relevant for
determining the question of infringement of the fundamental rights

43.

underArticle21.

Anotherlimbofhisargumentinsupportofthechallengeto

ba
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Section5DisthatSection5Dhasnonexustotheobjectsandpurposes
oftheAnimalPreservationAct. HepointedoutthatSection5Dnot

om

onlyprohibitsbutcriminalisesthepossessionoffleshofcows,bullsor
bullocks which have been slaughtered elsewhere in India or even
outsidethecountrywherethereisnoprohibitiononslaughter.Relying
uponthedecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofAkhilBharatGoseva
Sanghv.StateofAndhraPradesh&Others 11,heurgedthatnoearlier
judgmentoftheApexCourt holdsthat thelawsandpoliciesofthe
States which permit slaughter of cows, bulls or bullocks are not
unconstitutional.Heurgedthatthepossessionoffleshofcows,bullsor
bullocks which have been lawfully slaughtered outside the State of
9 (1983)4 SCC 645
10 (1991)Supp 1 SCC 600
11 (2006)4 SCC 162

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MaharashtraoroutsidethecountryhasnonexuswiththeArticle48of

rt

the Constitution of India. By pointing out the provisions of the

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PreventionofCrueltytoAnimalsAct,1960,heurgedthateventhesaid
Actspecificallypermitsslaughterofanimalsforfood.

44.

He submitted that if the amendment to Section 5

ig
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introducedbytheAmendmentActisheldtobeconstitutionallyvalid,at
thehighest,itcanbesaidthatSections5Ato5Chavebeenenactedfor
theeffectiveimplementationofthebanonslaughterofcows,bullsand

bullocks. However,Section5DisastandaloneSectionwhichhasno
nexuswiththebanonslaughterofcows,bullsandbullocksintheState.

ba
y

HepointedoutthatthebanimposedbySection5oftheAmendment
Actonthe slaughterofcowhasbeen in existence for last40years.

om

However,thereisnomaterialplacedonrecordtoshowthatthesaid
bancannotbeeffectivelyimplementedunlesspossessionofmeatofa
cow slaughtered outside the State or outside the country is not
prohibited and criminalised. He pointed out that even under the
unamendedAnimalPreservationAct,slaughterofbullsandbullockson
thebasisofthecertificateissuedunderSection6waspermittedonlyat
the Municipal or Government Abattoirs. He submitted that there is
nothingplacedonrecordastowhyimportofthebeeffromotherStates
andabroadcannotbeadequatelyregulated,ifthatisfeltnecessaryto
ensurethatitdoesnotcreateanyhindrancesintheimplementationof

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fleshmatter draft 5

thebanoncows,bullsandbullocks.HealsopointedoutthatSection

rt

5DdoesnotcreatemereprohibitionbuttheamendmenttoSection9

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ou

makes the possession of flesh of cow, bull or bullock an offence.


Moreover,Section9Bimposesonerousnegativeburdenontheperson

whoisfoundinpossessionofsuchmeatwhichisprohibitedbySection
5D.Heurgedthatthisdrasticprovisionwillalsoapplytothefleshof

ig
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cow,bullorbullockwhichisaproductonslaughterinaStatewhere
thereisabsolutelynoprohibitionontheslaughter.

The learned senior counsel appearing for the Petitioner

45.

summarizedhissubmissionsbysubmittingthatSection5Ddirectlyand

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y

tangibly violates the right of the Petitioner to personal liberty


guaranteedunderArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia.Hesubmitted

om

that the State has failed to plead and establish any compelling
public/StateinteresttojustifytheenactmentofSection5D.Heurged
thatSection5Dsubservesnopublicinterestandinanycase,nosuch
publicinterestisdisclosed.Hence,hewouldurgethatSection5Dof
theAmendmentActshouldbedeclaredasunconstitutional.

46.

Learned counsel appearing for the Petitioners in Writ

PetitionNo.1379of2015andPublicInterestLitigationNo.76of2015
submittedthateventheStateGovernmenthasacceptedthatthereis
nothinginherentlywrongoroffensivewithconsumptionofmeatofthe

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cows,bullsorbullocks. Hissubmissionisthatitisnotdisputedthat

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beefwasthecheapestmeatavailableand3.99crorekgofdomestically

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produced beef was available in Maharashtra to poor people to eat.


InvitingourattentiontotheprovisionsoftheAnimalsPreservationAct,
hesubmittedthatthosebulls,bullocksandbuffaloeswhichareuseful
fordraught,agricultural purposesetc.werealwaysprotectedbefore

ig
h

beforetheunamendedprovisionsoftheAnimalPreservationAct.The
Statehasnotstatedthatthereisaneedforenhancementofprotection
to bulls or bullocks in addition to the protection which is already

availableunderSection6oftheunamendedAnimalPreservationAct.
HepointedoutthatintheaffidavitoftheState,itisadmittedthatthere

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isanexcessofbullsandbullockswhichareusedneitherforbreeding
norfordraughtpurposes.HeurgedthatitisnotthecaseoftheState

om

thattherewasashortageofbullsorbullocks. Hissubmissionisthat
eventheStatehasacceptedthatthereisashortageoffodderasclaimed
in the affidavit that the State is trying to cope up with the fodder
requirements. HepointedoutthatthePetitionershavegivenfigures
showing the acute shortage of fodder. He submitted that the bulls,
bullocks and buffaloes which are useful for agricultural and draught
purposes were always protected. Only for the purposes of banning
consumptionofmeatthatablanketbanhasbeenimposedonslaughter
ofbullsandbullocksaswell.

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47.

47

fleshmatter draft 5

HissubmissionisthattheStateGovernmenthassoughtto

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defend the validity of the Amendment Act only by relying upon the

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directiveprinciplesofStatepolicywhichattractapresumptionthatthe
legislationisinpublicinterest. However,thefactualissuesraisedby
thePetitionershavenotbeendealtwithbytheState. Hesubmitted
thatevenassumingthattheAmendmentActisrelatabletodirectives

ig
h

principlesoftheStatepolicy,itisnotnecessarytopresumethatthe
restrictionsimposedbytheprovisionsthereofonthefundamentalrights
arereasonable.RelyinguponadecisionoftheApexcourtinthecaseof

Akhil Bharatiya Soshit Karmachari Sangh v. Union of India 12, he


urgedthatthereasonablenessofrestrictionsimposedbytheStatuteis

ba
y

requiredtobeindependentlyexamined.Heurgedthatthedecisionof
theApexCourtinthecaseofPathummav.StateofKerala 13willnot

om

helptheState. Hissubmissionisthatthedirectivesprinciplesofthe
Statepolicy perse cannevernegatetherequirementsofPartIII. He
submittedthatinthefactsofthecase,itwasnecessaryfortheStateto
establishreasonablenessofrestrictionsandtheexistenceofcompelling
publicinterest.

48.

He urged that when a law enacted simplicitor for

protectingbullsandbullockswithoutanyreason,therebyinfringingthe
fundamental rights, merely because the law is relatable to the
12 (1981)1 SCC 246
13 AIR 1978 SC 771

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fleshmatter draft 5

directives principles of the State policy, it is not valid. Such a law

rt

cannotcurtailfundamentalrights.Thesubmissionisthatthedirective

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ou

principlesoftheStatepolicybythemselvesdonotconstituteanyreason

forinfringingthefundamentalrights. Learnedcounselappearingfor
the Petitioners also dealt with the factual case made out by the
IntervenorssuchasViniyogParivarTrust.Healsomadesubmissionon

ig
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therighttoprivacy. Hesubmittedthatthe ordermadebytheApex


Court in the case of Puttaswami does not lay down any law. He
submittedthatasthelawearlierlaiddownbytheApexCourtholds

thattherighttoprivacyisa fundamentalright,thequestionaroseof
making a reference. He also referred to the majority view in the

ba
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decisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofKharakSingh.Hesubmitted
that the Apex Court has dealt with the issue of pith and substance

om

which is irrelevant in a case where there is an infringement of the


fundamentalrights.HereliedupontheprovisionsoftheHumanRights
Act,1993 which incorporates rights set out in the International
CovenantforCivilandPoliticalRights,1966.Hesubmittedthatinview
of the provisions of the said Act, privacy is a statutorily recognized
humanrightandtherefore,musthavetheprotectionofArticle21ofthe
ConstitutionofIndia.Learnedcounselurgedthatthehiddenmotiveis
to ban consumption of meat of bulls and bullocks and this hidden
motivewillhavetobeconsideredwhiletestingreasonableness.Dealing
withtherighttofoodandrighttonutritioninthecontextofArticle47

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fleshmatter draft 5

oftheConstitution,heurgedthatbeefisthecheapestanimalprotein

rt

availabletothepoor.HesubmittedthattheargumentoftheStatethat

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buffalomeatisstillavailabledoesnotentitletheStatetosupportthe
Amendment Act by relying upon Clause (g) of Article 51A of the
ConstitutionofIndia.

HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof

ig
h

49.

Sri SriKalimata Thakurani v. Union of India and Others 14. He


submittedthatwhiledealingwiththeissueofviolationoffundamental

rights, the Court has to determine whether or not the restrictions


imposed contain the quality of reasonableness. Relying upon the

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y

observationsmadebytheApexCourtinthecaseof Javedv.Stateof
Haryana15,heurgedthatthejudgmentdoesnotsuggestthatthetestof

om

reasonableness can be dispensed with merely because the Statute is


enactedinfurtheranceofthedirectiveprinciplesoftheStatepolicy.He
alsorelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof Minerva
Millsv.UnionofIndia16.HesubmittedthattheApexCourtnegatived
the contention that the directive principles automatically support
legislationwhichcurtailfundamentalrights.HerelieduponParagraphs
62and68fromthesaiddecision.

14 AIR 1981 SC 1030


15 AIR 2003 SC 3057
16 AIR 1980 SC 1789

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50.

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fleshmatter draft 5

InWritPetition(L)No.3396of2015,thechallengeistothe

rt

constitutionalvalidityofSections5Cand5DaswellasSubsection(3)

C
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of Sections 8 and 9B. The basic submission of the learned senior

counselappearingforthe Petitionersisthatifthe wordPossession


appearing in Sections 5C and 5D is not read down to mean as
conscious possession, Sections 5C and 5D will become

ig
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unconstitutional. AnothersubmissionisthatSection9Bisultravires
the Constitution of India as the negative burden cast by it virtually
means that there is a burden to prove that the accused is innocent.

AnothercontentionisthatSections5Cand5Ddefeattheconstitutional
righttocarryontradeandcommerceandhence,theyareviolativeof

ba
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Article301readwithArticle304B.ItispointedoutthatthePetitioners
inthisPetitionareeitherownersofcoldstoragesortheyrepresentsuch

om

ownersofthecoldstorages.Theirbusinessistostoreperishablefood
items including meat products in their cold storages. It is their
contentionthatthemeatproductsarestoredintheircoldstoragewhich
aremeantforexport.Itispointedoutthattheyreceivemeatproducts
in a vehicle having refrigeration facilities along with a consignment
noteandacertificateofaGovernmentVeterinaryDoctorfromaplace
outside the State from where the meathas originated. The learned
seniorcounselpointedoutthataspertheinstructionsoftheownersof
themeatproducts,thesamearestoredintheircoldstoragefacilities
and released on payment of necessary charges for the purposes of

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fleshmatter draft 5

dispatchtothePortforthepurposesofexport.Itispointedoutthatthe

rt

business of sale of meat is a legitimate business. As a part of the

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business, the Petitionershave to store the packages of meat without


opening the same and therefore, the Petitioners have no source of
ascertaining the contents of the packets and they have to goby the

51.

ig
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descriptiononthepackagesofmeatproducts.

The learned senior counsel appearing for the Petitioners

pointedoutthatthe3ListsintheSeventhScheduleoftheConstitution

ofIndiaaretobereadtogether.ItiscontendedthatunderEntry33of
ListIII,theStatelegislatureiscompetenttoenactthelawintradeand

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commerceforthe purposesof production,supplyanddistributionof


fooditems. Itispointedoutthatinviewof Entry26ofListII,the

om

State legislature has exclusive power to legislate with respect to the


tradeandcommercewithintheState.ItisurgedthatSection5Dofthe
AmendmentActisnotrestrictedinitsapplicabilitywithintheStateand
therefore,theStatedoesnothavecompetencetoenactSection5Dby
virtueofEntry26intheListIIoftheConstitutionofIndia.Itisurged
thatSections5Cand5Darenotancillaryorincidentaltotheprovision
of Section 5. The ban on the possession of flesh of cows, bulls or
bullocksslaughteredoutsidetheStateofMaharashtraisnotanancillary
orincidentalprovisionasthesamehasnonexuswiththeobjectofthe
AmendmentAct.

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fleshmatter draft 5

The Submission of the learned senior counsel is that

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52.

52

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wherever the violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of India is


alleged,theburdenisontheStateistojustifythevalidityofthestatute.

Thecontentionisthatthesaidburdenhasnotbeendischargedbythe
State in the present case. It is contended that the restrictions under

ig
h

Clause (6) of Article 19 of the Constitution of India must not be


arbitrary or excessive so as to go beyond the requirements of the
interestofthegeneralpublicandtheremustbeadirectandproximate

ba
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tobeachieved.

nexusbetweentherestrictionsimposedandtheobjectwhichissought

53.

ThelearnedcounselappearingforthePetitionersinWrit

om

PetitionNo.9996of2015urgedthaton8 th January2007,theAnimal
Husbandry Department wrote a letter to the Law and Judiciary
DepartmentstatingthatthebilloftheAmendmentActbewithdrawn
andhearingmustbegiventoalltheconcerned.Notwithstandingthis
view, there were no deliberations made by the Government of
Maharashtra. RelianceisplacedonthedecisionoftheApexCourtin
thecaseofManoharS/oManikraoAnchulev.StateofMaharashtra
andAnother17.ItispointedoutthatthereasoningoftheGovernment
in the legislative process has to be reflected on the file of the
Government at the relevant time and reasonscannotbe suppliedby
17 (2012)13 SCC 14

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filinganaffidavitinreplyinthepresentPetition. Itisurgedthatthe

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StateGovernmenthasnotbroughtonrecordanymaterialtojustifythe

C
ou

legislative amendments. He submitted that both the affidavits on

recordfiledbytheStateGovernmentdonotsatisfythetest.Inviting
theattentionoftheCourttoadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof
State of Gujarat v. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat and

ig
h

Others18, it was submitted that to satisfy the test of reasonable


restriction,whileimposingatotalprohibitionontheslaughterofbull
and bullocks, it must be proved that a lesser alternative would be

inadequate.RelianceisplacedonthereportoftheStudyGroupdated
12th December2013annexedtothe WritPetitionfromPages193to

ba
y

205.ItisurgedthattheStudyGroupshowsthatenoughmechanismis
availabletoregulateandcontroltheslaughteringofbullsandbullocks

om

having the age of more than 12 years at the notified Slaughtering


Houses.Herelieduponvariousreportsandmaterialwhichformpart
of the additional affidavit of the Petitioner and urged that the State
Governmenthasnotconsideredseveralfactors.Itisurgedthatinthe
decisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofStateofGujaratv.Mirzapur
MotiKureshiKassabJamat,asimilarGujaratAmendmenttoBombay
AnimalPreservationAct,1954washeldtobereasonableonlyonthe
basisofthedocumentswhichwerebroughtonrecordbytheGujarat
Government.Itissubmittedthatnosuchmaterialisbroughtonrecord
bytheStateGovernment.Itisurgedthattheamendmentintroducedby
18 (2005)8 SCC 534

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the Amendment Act is based on extraneous material. The learned

rt

counselrelieduponthefundamentalrightsguaranteedunderArticle25

C
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oftheConstitutionofIndia.HereliedupontheextractofholyQuran

relied upon in Writ Petition No.9209 of 2015. He urged that the


sacrificeofabullonthedayofEidisanessentialreligiouspracticeof
the muslim community which is protected under Article 25 of the

ig
h

ConstitutionofIndia. HeurgedthedecisionoftheApexCourtinthe
caseofStateofWestBengal&Othersv.AshutoshLahiri19refersonly
tothesacrificeofthecowsandholdsthatitisnotessential religious

practice. HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof
RatilalPanachandGandhiv.StateofBombay 20 bycontendingthat

ba
y

every person has a fundamental right under Article 25 of the


Constitutionwhichincludestherighttoexhibithisbeliefsandideasby

om

such overt acts as are enjoined or sanctioned by his religion. He


submittedthatthesacrificeofbullisareligioususageand,therefore,it
willfallunderClause(2)(b)ofArticle25oftheConstitutionofIndiaas
heldbytheApexCourtinitsdecisioninthecaseof Sheshammalv.
StateofTamilNadu21. Comingbacktothejudgmentinthecaseof
StateofGujaratv.Mirzapur MotiKureshiKassabJamat,heurged
thattheApexCourthasrecordedinthesaiddecisionthatthereare335
Goshalas and174PanjarpolesintheStateofGujaratandasagainst
this,intheStateofMaharashtra,thereareonly86Goshalas. Itis
19 (1995)1 SCC 189
20 AIR 1954 SC 388
21 (1972)2 SCC 11

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pointed out that as per the report of the Commissioner of Animal

rt

Husbandry dated 30th March 2010 for taking care of 3 lakhs

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uneconomicalbullocks,thereisanecessityof300moreGoshalas.He
pointed out that the National Commission on Cattle in its report
recordstheproblemsfacedbyGoshalas. Hepointedoutthefactthat
stray old livestock including bulls are endangering human life and

ig
h

causing health related problem as noted in the said report. He


submittedthattheGoshalasinMaharashtraareinapatheticcondition
andareindulginginillegalsaleofuneconomicalbullocks.Heurged

thatonceastatuteisshowntotransgressonfundamentalrights,the
onus is on the State to establish reasonableness of the restrictions

ba
y

imposedbythestatute.Herelieduponthespecificcontentionsraised
intheWritPetition. Hepointedoutthattherestrictionsimposedby

om

theAmendmentActarenotforthebenefitofthepublicandcannotbe
calledasreasonablebyanystretchofimagination.

54.

ThelearnedseniorcounselappearingforthePetitionerin

WritPetitionNo.9209of2015hasinvokedClause(1)ofArticle25of
theConstitutionofIndia. Hersubmissionisthattheslaughteringof
cattle on the occasion of Bakri Eid and every festival is a religious
practice which is protected under Clause (1) of Article 25 of the
ConstitutionofIndia.Hersubmissionisthattheslaughteringofcattle
onthereligiousoccasionsbeingthecoreactivityitself,thesamecannot

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beregulatedunderClause(2)ofArticle25oftheConstitutionofIndia.

rt

SheurgedthattheAmendmentActdoesnotpurporttofurtherpublic

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order,moralityandhealth.Invitingourattentiontotheaffidavitsfiled
bytheState,sheurgedthatwhiletheStateseekstoprotectcattlefor

the furtherance of nonmechanized agriculture, it has actually cut


foddersubsidybyover50%.Ontheotherhand,thesubsidyprovided

ig
h

topesticidesalonerangesfrom50to75percent.Hersubmissionisthat
thedecisioninthecaseofStateofGujaratv.MirzapurMotiKureshi
KassabJamat is foundedonthedatamadeavailablebytheGujarat

Governmentwhichshowsthattherewasanabundanceoffodderinthe
StateofGujarat.Ontheotherhand,inthereplygivenbytheMinistry

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y

ofAgricultureintheRajyaSabha,itwasstatedthattherewasahuge
shortageoffodderintheStateofMaharashtra.Sheurgedthatthough

om

theAmendmentActisoftheyear1995,nosurveywascarriedoutto
determine the situation before arriving at the conclusion that a
completebanontheslaughterofbullsandbullocksisnecessary.She
relieduponvariousdecisionsoftheApexCourtincludingthedecisions
in the cases of Ratilal Panachand Gandhi v. State of Bombay &
Others and Seshammal and Others v. State of Tamil Nadu. In
addition,sherelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof
Commissioner, Hindu Religion Endowments, Madras v. Sri
LakshmindraThirthaSwamiarofSriShirurMutt 22.Shereliedupon
adecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof Dr.M.IsmailFaruqui&
22 AIR 1954 SC 282

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Others v. Union of India23 by submitting that the secularism is a

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positiveconceptofequaltreatmentofallreligions. Sheurgedthat

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impositionoftotalbanontheslaughterofbullsandbullocksamounts
toviolationofClause(g)ofArticle19(1)oftheConstitutionofIndia
and,therefore,theburdenofproofthatatotalbanontheexerciseof

the right alone may ensure the maintenance of the general public

ig
h

interestliesheavilyupontheStateGovernment.Sheurgedthatlaws
permittingslaughterofbovinecattlebyitselfarenotunconstitutional.
ShereliedupontheextractofHollyQuraninsupportofhercontention

thattheslaughterofbullandbullocksonthereligiousoccasionisan

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essentialpracticeofmuslimreligion.

55.

The learned senior counsel appearing in Writ Petition

om

No.9209of2015bywayofwrittenarguments,urgedthatthereligious
scripturesreferonlytothespecifiedanimalswhichcanbesacrificed.It
wassubmittedthatajudicialnoticecanbetakenofthefactthatthe
majorityofmuslimcommunityispoorandtherefore,themajorityof
muslimsarenotinafinancialpositiontosacrificeagoat. Therefore,
unlesstheyarepermittedtosacrificethebullsorbullocks,theywillnot
beabletoperformessentialpracticeoftheirreligion.Relyingupona
decisionoftheConstitutionalBenchoftheApexCourtinthecaseof
I.R. Coelho, since deceased by the legal representative v. State of

23 (1994)6 SCC 360

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TamilNadu24,sheurgedthatwheninfringementoffundamentalrights

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isshown,thereisnoburdenonthePetitioneralleginginfringementto

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showthattheinfringementisnotreasonableoriscontrarytomorality.
ItisfortheStatetojustifythelawbyshowingthattheinfringementof
righttopracticereligionunderClause(1)ofSection25canbesavedon

the ground of morality, public health and any other ground. She

ig
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submitted that the Petitioner has produced documentary evidence to


show the decline of use of cattle for agricultural purposes. She
submittedthatasheldinthecaseofS.R.Bommai&Othersv.Union

ofIndia&Others25, secularismformsapartofbasicstructureofthe
Constitution. ThesubmissionisthatviolationofArticle25wouldbe

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tantamounttoaviolationofthebasicstructureoftheConstitution.It
issubmittedthatbybanningtheslaughterofcowandherprogeny,the

om

StateisfavouringonereligionagainstotherundertheguiseofArticle
48oftheConstitutionofIndia.Thesubmissionisthatinthecaseof
StateofGujaratv.MirzapurMotiKureshiKassabJamat,theissueof
violationofArticle25oftheConstitutionofIndiawasnotconsidered.

56.

ShehasspecificallyrelieduponVerseNo.1underSurahAl

MaidahinPart6inHollyQuran. Shesubmittedthatitprovidesthat
Eid Ul Adha marks the end of the Haj pilgrimage wherein cattle
(includingbullsandbullocks)issacrificed.ShealsorelieduponVerse
24 (2007)2 SCC 1
25 (1994)3 SCC 1

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36. ShepointedoutthattheMuslimreligionprovidesforsacrificeor

rt

slaughterofcows,bullsandbullocksontheauspiciousoccasionofEid

C
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UlAdha.Itfacilitateseventheeconomicallyweakersectionsofmuslim

communitytoperformtheirreligiousobligation.Shepointedoutthat
thesacrificeofagoatiscountedandtreatedasasinglequrbaniper
personwhereas, sevenmature muslimscanjointogetherincaseof

ig
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sacrificeofonecow,bullorbullock.Thesubmissioninshortisthatthe
sacrificeofbullsandbullocksformsanintegralandessentialpartofthe
religion of Islam and therefore, a complete ban imposed by the

AmendmentActbyintroducingSection5oftheAnimalPreservation
Act infringes fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 25 of the

ba
y

ConstitutionofIndia.

om

57.

ThelearnedseniorcounselappearingforthePetitionersin

Writ Petition (L) No.3395 of 2015 urged that the possession under
Sections5Cand5Dwillhavetobeaconsciouspossession.Herelied
uponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofMohanLalv.Stateof
Rajasthan26. Healsorelied uponthedecisionsoftheApexCourtin
thecasesofPeople'sUnionforCivilLibertiesandAnotherv.Unionof
India27, Sanjay Dutt v. State Through C.B.I., Bombay (II) 28 and
Gopaldas Udhavdas Ahuja and Another v. Union of India and

26 (2015)6 SCC 222


27 (2004)9 SCC 580
28 (1994)5 SCCC 410

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Others29.Whileadoptingthesubmissionsoftheotherlearnedcounsel

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madeinsupportofattackonSection9B,herelieduponadecisionof

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the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of K. Munivelu v. The


GovernmentofIndiaandOthers30.WhiledealingwithSection9B,he
relieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof NoorAgav.
State of Punjab & Another31. He submitted that unless the State

ig
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establishesthebasicfactthatthemeatistheproductofillegalslaughter
withintheStateandthatthepersonfoundinpossessionwashavingthe
knowledgeofthesaidfact,Section9Bwillnotcomeintopicture. His

submission isthatunlessSections5Cand5DalongwithSection9B
incorporatedbytheAmendmentActarereaddown,thesamewillbe

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exposedtotheviceofunconstitutionality.Hesubmittedthatunlessthe
possessioncontemplatedbySections5Cand5Disheldtobeconscious

om

possession,anegativeburdenwillbeputontheaccused.Heurgedthat
inthecasescoveredbySections5Cand5D,itwillbeimpossibleforthe
accusedtoprovethatthemeatfoundinhispossessionisnotacreation
ofillegalslaughter.HesubmittedthatSection9Bwillhavetobeheld
tobeadraconianpieceoflegislativeprovision.

58.

In Writ Petition No.1314 of 2015, Shri Anturkar, the

learned senior counsel representing one of the Intervenors made


detailedsubmissions.Hesubmittedthatthemajorityviewinthecase
29 (2004)7 SCC 33
30 AIR 1972 Andhra Pradesh 318
31 (2008)16 SCC 417

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ofKharakSinghlaysdownthattherightofprivacyisnotavailableasa

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fundamentalrightunderArticle21oftheConstitution ofIndia. He

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ou

submitted that notwithstanding the clear view expressed by the


majorityinthecaseof KharakSingh,allsubsequentdecisionsofthe
Apex Court having bench strength of two Hon'ble Judges have
proceededonthefootingthattherighttoprivacyisafundamentalright

ig
h

underArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia. Hesubmittedthatnow
theBenchofthreeHon'bleJudgesoftheApexCourtinthecaseofK.S.
Puttaswami hasmade areferencetoalargerBenchontheissueof

availabilityoftherighttoprivacyasafundamentalright.Relyingupon
thedecisionoftheApexCourtofalargerBenchofeightHon'bleJudges

ba
y

inthecaseofM.P.Sharma,heurgedthatthesaiddecisionlaysdown
thattherighttoprivacyisnotincludedintheConstitutionofIndia.He

om

urgedthatsucharightisnotincludedinthefundamentalrightsinPart
IIIoftheConstitutionofIndia.

59.

HeurgedthatArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndiacannot

bereadtoincludeeachandeveryright. Hepointedoutthatinlarge
numberofcases,theApexCourthasrefusedtoreadcertainrightsin
Article21.Hesubmittedthattherightswhichareessentialforlifeare
includedinArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndiaandtherightswhich
arenotessentialarenotincludedtherein. Hesubmittedthatevenif
the righttolifeandlibertyincludeseveryrightwhichmakesthelife

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meaningful,itwouldmeanonlycorerightsoressentialrightsandnot

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fringerights.Hesubmittedthatthefringerightsaretheonewhichare

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ou

merelydesirabletomakethelifecomfortableormorecomfortableor
luxurious.Heurgedthatinthepresentcase,thePetitionerisnotonly
claimingtherighttofoodbutclaimingtherighttoaparticularfoodina
particulargeographicalarea,i.etheStateofMaharashtra,whichrightis

ig
h

notprotectedbytheConstitutionofIndia. Heurgedthatifsucha
rightisheldtobeapartofrightunderArticle21,thesamewouldbe
availableevento foreigners. Heurgedthattherighttohavefoodof

one'schoiceisnotapartofrighttomakethe lifemeaningful. He
relieduponthedirectiveprinciplesoftheStatepolicyinArticles48and

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48Aand53oftheConstitutionofIndia. Heurgedthatthesamewill
havetobereadwithClauses(g)and(h)ofthefundamentaldutiesof

om

thecitizensinArticle51A.HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourt
in the case of Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja &
Others32andinparticularParagraphs67and68thereof.Heurgedthat
the directive principles of the State policy as interpreted in the said
judgmentaresoughttobeimplementedbytheimpugnedAmendment
Act. HeurgedthattheAmendmentActincludingSection5Dbrought
bytheAmendmentActisintheinterestofgeneralpublic. Heurged
thatthelawlaiddownbytheApexCourtintheaforesaiddecisionis
that not only Indian cows but even International cows can be
protectedbytheStatuteandthatishowSection5Disbroughtonthe
32 (2014)7 SCC 547

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Statute Book. He submitted that there is nothing illegal or

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unconstitutionalaboutSection5D.Relyinguponthedecisionsofthe

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ApexCourtinthecasesofBhaktawarTrust&Othersv.M.D.Narayan
&Others33andKeshavlalKhemchandandSonsPvt.Ltd.v.Unionof
India34,hewouldurgethatthestatementofObjectsandReasonscan
be looked into only for a limited purpose as laid down in the said

ig
h

decisions. He submitted that while testing the validity of various


amendments brought into by the Amendment Act, the test of

60.

reasonablenessoftheSectionswillhavetobeapplied.

HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof

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StateofWestBengalv.AshutoshLahiri. Hesubmittedthatthesaid
decision holds that slaughtering of cow is not an essential part of

om

Muslimreligion.Hesubmittedthatmerelybecauseacertainpracticeis
permissible as provided in religious texts, it does not automatically
meanthatitisanessentialpartofthereligion.Hesubmittedthatthe
thingswhicharemadecompulsoryornecessaryforthepurposesofa
particularreligionarecoveredbytherightguaranteedunderArticle25
of theConstitution of India. He reliedupona decision of theApex
Court in the case of Hinsa Virodhak Sangh vs. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh
Jamat and Ors.

33 (2003)5 SCC 298


34 (2015)4 SCC 770

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The learned counsel representing Viniyog Parivar Trust

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61.

64

C
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urgedthatinIndia,thereisadrasticshortfalloftherequiredcattle.He
submittedthatagainsttherequirementof88,21,660bullocks,thereare

only 54,23,718 bullocks. He submitted that the estimated meat


production in the State during the year 20142015 of buffaloes was

ig
h

84.495 metric tonnes. He pointed out that the India is the largest
exporterofbuffalomeat. Relyingupontheaffidavitinreplyfiledby
theStateGovernmentinPILNo.76of2015,hewouldurgethatthe

Statehasmadenecessaryprovision forprovidingfodderandcareof
cattle.HesubmittedthatinthecaseofStateofGujaratv.Mirzapur

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y

MotiKureshiKassabJamatandOthers,theApexCourthastermed
theactofslaughterofcattleinitsoldageasanactofreprehensible

om

ingratitude.HesubmittedthattheAmendmentActissavedbyArticle
31CanditisinfurtheranceofArticles48andClause(g)ofArticle51
AoftheConstitutionofIndia.

62.

While coming to the reasonableness of the restrictions

which can be imposed, he urged that the reasonableness has to be


judgednotfromtheviewpointofcitizenwhomaybeobjectingtothe
restrictionsbutfromtheviewpointoftheobjectwhichissoughttobe
achievedbytheStatute.Heurgedthatthereisnothingwrongwiththe
negativeburdenimposedbySection9BwhichisbroughtontheStatute

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BookbytheAmendmentActassuchnegativeburdencanbefoundin

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severalStatutesincludingSection57oftheWildLife(Protection)Act,

63.

C
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1972.

He urged that the right to privacy or right to live

meaningfullifeisnottheprerogativeonlyofmeateaters. Heurged

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h

thatthosewhoworship thecowanditsprogenyandthosewhoare
dependentuponthecowandthecowprogenyhavealsoarighttolive
ameaningfullife. Heurgedthattheirrighttolivecannotbetaken

awaytosatisfytastebudsoffewindividuals.Itisurgedthattheright
tolifeisfarsuperiorthantherighttokill.Hewouldurgethatrightto

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possessbeefandtoeatbeefcanbynostretchofimaginationbetermed
asafundamentalright. Heurgedthatthesocalledbeefeatershave

om

many other alternative choices of meat whereas, the farmers/cow


worshipers/personswhoaredependentonthecowandcowprogeny
havenootheralternative. Itissubmittedthattherighttochoiceof
foodcannotbetermedasafundamentalright.Hepointedoutthatthe
Petitioner in Writ Petition No.5731 of 2015 has raised the same
questions which the said Petitioner had earlier raised which were
decided by the decision in the case of Shaikh Zahid Mukhtar v.
CommissionerofPolice,Thane35. Heurgedthatthosewhoworship
cowandcowprogenycannotbedeprivedoftheirrighttolifebythose
whoseektorelishbeef.Hesubmittedthattheexportandimportof
35 2007(4) Mh.LJ 815

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cows,calvesandoxenisprohibited. Heurgedthatonlyexportfrom

rt

IndiaisofmeatofBuffalo.Heurgedthatthelawlaiddowninthesaid

64.

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decisionwillapplytothechallengesinthepresentPetitionsaswell.

ShriM.P.RaoandShriR.S.Apte,learnedseniorcounsel

havemadesubmissions. ShriRaorelieduponadecisionoftheApex

ig
h

Court in the case of Indian Handicrafts Emporium and Others v.


UnionofIndia36.HepointedoutthatamendedprovisionsoftheWild
Life(Preservation)Act,1972prohibitedthetradeofimportedivory.He

pointedoutthattheSupremeCourtupheldthesaidbanontheground
that it was necessary to implement the ban on poaching of Indian

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elephants. Heurgedthatthebanonimportwasnecessarytoavoid

om

evasionoftakingrecoursetocamouflage.

65.

ThelearnedcounselappearingfortheIntervenorinWrit

PetitionNo.9209of2015pointedoutthatatleastin14Statesinthe
country,thereisatotalbanontheslaughterofentirecowprogeny.Itis
contendedthatpracticallyinalltheStatesinNorthernIndia,exceptthe
NorthEast,thereisatotalbanontheslaughterofentirecowprogeny.
HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof Stateof
Gujaratv.MirzapurMotiKureshiKassabJamat.RelyinguponArticle
48oftheConstitutionofIndia,heurgedthatthereisnoconstitutional
mandateinfavourofslaughteringofanimals. Hesubmittedthatthe
36 (2003)7 SCC 589

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IntervenorhimselfisafollowerofIslamreligionandispractisingthe

rt

said religion. He submitted that according to the Intervenor, the

C
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interpretationputbythePetitionertothe HollyQuraniscompletely
erroneous.

66.

On the negative burden, the learned senior counsel

ig
h

representingthePetitionerrelieduponadecisionoftheHouseofLords
in the case of Regina v. Johnstone37. Reliance was also placed on

Lambert38.

The learned counsel appearing for the Karuna Animal

ba
y

67.

another decision of the House of Lord in the case of Regina v.

WelfareTrust(theApplicantinChamberSummons(L)No.456of2015

om

inWritPetition(L)No.2566of2015)aswellasappearingforEkata
Foundation(theApplicantinChamberSummons(L)No.455of2015in
WritPetitionNo.2680of2015)urgedthatasfarasArticle304ofthe
ConstitutionofIndiaisconcerned,asthereisasubsequentsanctionto
thestatutebythePresidentofIndia,noillegalitiesareattracted. He
urgedthatifanyreasonablerestrictionisimposedonfreedomoftrade
forsecuringthedirectiveprinciplesoftheStatePolicy,itwillbeheldas
reasonable.Heurgedthatimplementationofthedirectiveprinciplesof
theStatePolicyisalwaysconsideredtobeintheinterestofgeneral
37 (2003)1 WLR 1736
38 (2002)3 Appeal Cases 545

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public.Hesubmittedthattheveryfactthatthepresidentialassenthas

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beenreceivedtotheAmendmentActwillshowthattheAmendment

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Actisinthepublicinterest.ThesubmissionisthatArticle304Bofthe
Constitution of India itself permits the State Legislature to legislate
imposingreasonablerestrictionsonthefreedomoftrade,Commerceor
intercoursewithorwithinthatparticularStateasmayberequiredin

ig
h

publicinterest.Heurgedthattheframersdidnotcontemplateaconflict
betweenthefundamentalrightsandthedirectiveprinciplesoftheState
Policy.HeurgedthattheAmendmentActisenactedforgivingeffectto

thedirectiveprinciplesoftheStatePolicyinArticles48and48Aofthe
ConstitutionofIndia.HeurgedthatitisnotpermissiblefortheCourt

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toreadintotheConstitutionofIndiarighttoprivacyasafundamental
rightcoveredbyeitherunderArticle21oranyotherArticleinChapter

om

III of the Constitution of India. He urged that if such a course is


adopted, it would create a direct conflict between the fundamental
rights and directive principles of the State Policy. He relied upon a
decision of the Division Bench of this Court in the case of State of
Bombay v. R.M.D. Chamarbaughwalia 39. He also relied upon a
decision of the Apex Court in the case of Indian Handicrafts
EmporiumandOthersv.UnionofIndiaandOthers.Heurgedthatin
viewofthisdecision,theargumentthatSections5A,5B,5Cand5Dare
unconstitutionalwillhavetoberejectedasthesamehavebeenenacted
toensurethatthebanimposedbySection5iseffectivelyimplemented.
39 AIR 1956 Bombay 1

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68.

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constitutionalvalidityoftheAmendmentAct.

rt

He would submit that there is no merit in the challenge to the

Shri J.S. Kini, the learned counsel appearing for the

IntervenorsinWritPetitionNo.1653of2015urgedthattherightsof
the animals which are sought to be slaughtered for the purposes of

ig
h

eating will have to be protected by this Court. He relied upon a


decisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofAarushiDhasmanav.Union
of India and Others40. He also relied upon the views of Swami

Vivekananda. He urged that the entire mankind drinks milk and


consumesmilkproducts.Hesubmittedthatthoughtheentiremankind

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y

isbenefitedbymilkandmilkproducts,somehumanbeingswantthe
Court to permit the cattle to be slaughtered. He urged that the

om

slaughter is rightly prohibited in the State by the Amendment Act.


RelyinguponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofJavedv.State
of Haryana, He urged that the Apex Court has held that the
fundamentalrightsmustnotbereadinisolationbutwillhavetobe
read along with the directive principles of the State Policy and the
fundamentalduties.Hesubmittedthattheactofprohibitingbeefeating
doesnotamounttoabreachoffundamentalrightsasthesaidrights
willhavetobereadascircumscribedbythefundamentaldutiesunder
theClause(g)ofArticle51AoftheConstitutionofIndia.Heurgedthat
astagehascomewhenfundamentaldutieshavetobegivenabsolute
40 (2013)9 SCC 475

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priorityoverthefundamentalrightsasourcountryhasalwaysbeena

rt

countrygivingprecedencetothedutyratherthanseekingrights. He

C
ou

urged that if two views are possible, one holding a statute to be


unconstitutionalandtheotherholdingitconstitutional,theformerview
must prevail and the Court must make an effort to uphold the
constitutionalvalidityofastatute. Hesubmittedthattheprincipleis

ig
h

thatthelegislationispresumedtobevalidunlesscontraryisproved.
HereliedupontheobservationsmadeinthatbehalfbytheApexCourt
in the case of Namit Sharma v. Union of India41. He invited our

attentiontothephotographoftheoriginalpreambleoftheConstitution
ofIndiaonwhichapictureofprogenyofcowisprinted.Heurgedthat

ba
y

every citizen of India is bound to perform fundamental duties as


enjoinedbyArticle51AoftheConstitutionofIndia.Heurgedthatthe

om

AmendmentActhasbeenmadetofurtherthefundamentaldutiesand,
therefore,itcannotbesaidthatanyprovisionoftheAmendmentActis
ultravirestheConstitutionofIndia.Herelieduponcertaindocuments
such as Charak Sanhita. He submitted that while interpreting the
ConstitutionofIndiaasheldbytheApexCourtinitsdecisioninthe
caseof UnionofIndiav.NavinJindal 42,theCourtwillhavetokeep
thedoctrineofflexibilityinmind.

41 (2013)1 SCC 745


42 AIR 2004 SC 1559

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SomeofthelearnedcounselappearingfortheIntervenors

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69.

71

rt

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pointed out that in the State of Delhi under the provisions of Delhi
Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, there is a complete
prohibitionofpossessionoffleshofagriculturalcattleslaughteredin

ig
h

contraventionofthesaidActof1994. Itprohibitsthepossessionof
fleshofagriculturalcattleslaughteredoutsideDelhi.Itispointedout
thatthereisacompleteprohibitiononthesale,storageandtransportof

beef or beef products in any form under the Bombay Animal


PreservationAct,1954whichisapplicabletotheStateofGujarat.The

ba
y

learned counsel pointed out similar laws applicable to the States of


Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh etc. The

om

submissionisthatabanonpossessionoffleshofcow,bullorbullockin
theStateissomethingwhichisnecessary.

70.

LearnedcounselappearingfortheApplicantsinChamber

Summons No.277 of 2015 in Writ Petition No.1653 of 2015 has


contendedthatifSection5DisdeclaredasultravirestheConstitution,
theentireActwillbecomeredundantandtheverypurposeofenacting
the Act will be defeated. Reliance was placed on the fundamental
dutiesunderClause(g)ofArticle51AoftheConstitutionofIndia.Itis
pointed out that this Court has prohibited killing of dogs except in

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exceptionalcircumstances.Therefore,iftheslaughterofanyanimalis

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notprevented,itwillbediscriminatorytootheranimals. Relianceis

C
ou

placed on the opinions expressed by the great personalities like


MahatmaGandhiandSriAurobindoetc.Itiscontendedthatredmeat

isinjurioustohealth. Thelearnedcounselhasalsogivenahistorical
perspective of Muslims and British Rules as well as Independence

ig
h

Movement. HehasalsoreferredtovarioustenetsofMuslimreligion.
Thesubmissionofsaintshavelaidgreatemphasisonleadinganoble
lifeandalifeofrenunciationandcompassion,eatingsimplefoodand

abstainingfromconsumingmeat.Hissubmissionisthatthereisnota
single verse in Holly Quran which allows killing cows or bulls. He

ba
y

relieduponvariousversesinQuran.
THESUBMISSIONSOFTHEADVOCATEGENERAL

om

71.

ThelearnedAdvocateGeneralappearingfortheStateof

Maharashtra has made detailed submissions. His first submission is


basedonthedecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofAshokaKumar
v. Union of India43. His submission is that the challenge to the
constitutionalvalidityofanylegislationcanbeonlyontwogrounds.
Thefirstisthatthelegislationisultraviresthefundamentalrightsor
some other parts of the Constitution and the second is that the
legislationisbeyondthelegislativecompetence.Hissubmissionisthat
insomeofthePetitions,infringementofArticle14oftheConstitution
ofIndiaisallegedandtherefore,theburdenliesonthePetitionersto
43 (2008)6 SCC 1

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prove arbitrariness in terms of unreasonableness and discrimination.

rt

HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof Deenav.

C
ou

Union of India. He submitted that where the Petitioners allege


infringementofafundamentalright,theburdenliesontheStateto
show that it has not infringed any fundamental right or that the
infringementfallsunderthecategoryofreasonablerestrictions. He

ig
h

pointedoutthatwherethechallengeisbasedontheinfringementof
Article 21, the Petitioners will have to establish that imposing
restrictions on dealing with cows, bulls and bullocks or the flesh of

these animals amounts to an infringement of the right to life and


personalliberty.HeurgedthatthePetitionerswillhavetoestablishthat

ba
y

thereexistsundertheConstitution,arighttoprivacywhichisapartof
thefundamentalrighttolifeandpersonalliberty.Thereafter,theymust

om

establishthattherighttoconsumebeefisapartoffundamentalrightto
privacy.Further,theywillhavetoshowastohowtherestrictiononthe
transport,sell,purchaseandpossessionoffleshofanimalsisviolative
of the fundamental right to life. He, thereafter, made detailed
submissionsonvariousdecisionsrelieduponbythePetitioners.

72.

He submitted that in Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar

Pradesh, Subba Rao, J. speaking for himself and Shah, J. in the


minority judgment agreed that although the Constitution did not
expresslydeclaretherighttoprivacyasafundamentalright,itwasan

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essentialingredientofpersonalliberty. Sincepersonallibertyunder

rt

Article 21 extended to the right of an individual to be free from

C
ou

restrictionsandencroachmentsonhisperson,aviolationoftherightto

privacyshouldbeunderstoodalsotobeanencroachmentofhisperson
andthereforeaviolationofArticle21. Ayyangar,J.forthemajority
refers to the right of privacy as an aspect of personal liberty under

ig
h

Article21.Heurgedthatthemajorityjudgmentclearlysaysthatour
constitutiondoesnotintermsconferanylikeconstitutionalguarantees.
Theratioofthemajorityjudgmentisthatinanycase,sucharightto

choice,ifatallitexists,mustbebothdirectandtangibleandmustbe
somethingtangibleandphysicalandnotattributabletoimponderable

ba
y

effects on the mind of the person. It is not possible to extend this


judgmenttoincludewhatthePetitionerstermastherighttochoice.

om

Itgoeswithoutsayingthattherighttoprivacy,whichmeansthesame
as the right to be left alone, is an individual's right subject to non
interferencewheretheprivacyisenjoyedforthedoingofanylawful
activity. If, by virtue of the provisions of the impugned Act, the
provisionsoftheamendedSections5A,5B,5C,andinparticular5D,
consumptionofbeefamountstoanunlawfulactthenitisnotpossible
totreattherighttochoiceasapartofrighttolifeorpersonalliberty
underArticle21.Anotherreasonwhytherighttopersonallibertyunder
Article21shouldnotbeextendedtotherighttochoiceisalsoindicated
inthisjudgment.Inordertoconstituteaninfringement,whilespeaking

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of the right topersonal libertyasafundamental right,the Supreme

rt

Courtobservesthattheinfringementmustbeboth'directandtangible'.

C
ou

Personallibertyascontainedin Article21isnotintendedtoprotect

'merepersonalsensitiveness'.Inthefactsoftheinstantmatter,thereis
no immediate, direct or tangible nexus between the impugned
provisionsparticularlyofSection5Dandtheactofconsumptionby

73.

ig
h

thePetitioners.

This position appears to be supported by an eightJudge

judgmentofthe SupremeCourtin M.P.Sharmav.SatishChandra.


WhileconsideringthepowersofsearchandseizureundertheCriminal

ba
y

Procedure Code in terms of the right to Privacy, the Supreme Court


categorically observed that ...when the constitution makers have

om

thoughtfitnottosubjectsuchregulationtoconstitutionallimitationsby
recognitionofaFundamentalRighttoPrivacy,analogoustotheFourth
Amendment,wehavenojustificationtoimportitintoatotallydifferent
FundamentalRightbysomeprocessofstrainedconstruction.

74.

In Gobindv.StateofMadhyaPradeshandAnother 43A,

theSupremeCourtdidnotaccepttheargumentthattherighttoprivacy
wasaFundamentalRight. Theobservationinparagraph22thatthe
lawinfringingaFundamentalRightmustsatisfythetestofcompelling
stateinterestisrelevantonlyiftheCourtdoesfindthataclaimedright
43A (1975)2 SCC 148

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isentitledtoprotectionasafundamentalprivacyright.Therefore,in

rt

order to accept an argument of the applicability of compelling state

C
ou

interest test, it is necessary first for the Petitioner to establish that


transport, export, sale, purchase and possession of the livestock
(Sections 5A and 5B), and possession of the flesh of such animals
(Sections 5C and 5D), is a right to privacy, which in turn is a

entitledtoprotection.

TherighttoprivacyasdiscussedinR.Rajagopalv.State

75.

ig
h

FundamentalRighttoLifeandLibertyunderArticle21andtherefore,

ofTamilNaduneedstobeconsidered.Inattemptingtoestablishthat

ba
y

therighttoprivacyisanaspectofFundamentalRight,theSupreme
Courtheldthatitwasestablishedinthefactsofthatcase,asbeing

om

connectedwiththeFundamentalRighttospeechandexpressionunder
Article 19(1)(a). He stated that with great respect, the discussion
attemptingtorelatetherighttoprivacyasapartofrighttolifeunder
Article21wasinconclusive.ReferencewasmadetoAmericanlawand
judgments,mostofwhichhasalreadybeenconsideredinbothKharak
Singh and Gobind. TheU.S.Lawwasmostlyviewedfromthestand
pointofrightsofprivatecitizenswithregardtofreedomofspeechand
expression.Theconclusiondrawninparagraph26isthatevenwhere
it was said that the right to Privacy is implicit in the right to life
guaranteed under Article 21, it was in respect of certain aspects of

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privacysuchasthecitizen'srighttosafeguardtheprivacyofhimself,his

rt

family,marriage,procreation,motherhood,childbearingandeducation

C
ou

amongst other matters, and that no one could publish anything


concerning these matters without his consent. In effect, it was an
aspectofArticle19(1)(a).Thebroadprinciplesetoutinthejudgment
isthereforenotaconclusionthattherighttoprivacyinitsabsolute

ig
h

form is included in the right to life. The judgment can thus be


distinguished.

InRamJethmalaniv.UnionofIndia 44atwoJudgeBench

76.

oftheSupremeCourtobservedthatrighttoprivacywasanintegralpart

ba
y

of the right to life and labelled it a cherished Constitutional value.


However,itwentontoobservethatitisimportantthathumanbeings

om

bealloweddomainsoffreedomthatarefreeofpublicscrutinyunless
theyactinanunlawfulmanner.... Thesolution fortheproblemof
abrogationofonezoneofconstitutionalvaluescannotbethecreation
of another zone of abrogation of constitutional values... It may be
notedthatinthiscase,asinmostearliercases,thediscussiononthe
righttoprivacywasinthecontextoftherighttolibertyandfreedomof
movement.Itwasthusrelatabletopoliceactioninmattersofcriminal
procedure. Even in such judgments, the Supreme Court has been
carefultoconsistentlyobservethattherighttoprivacymustnotbeseen
asaprotectiontoanyunlawfulaction. Inotherwords,therightto
44 (2011)8 SCC 1

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privacydoesnotprotectanaccusedwhoisseentohaveviolatedthe

C
ou

77.

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law.

In InReRamlilaMaidanIncident,atwoJudgeBenchof

theSupremeCourtwasdealingwiththeforcibleevictionofthesleeping
public from Ramlila Maidan by the police authorities. The Bench

ig
h

referred to the sixJudge Bench judgment in Kharak Singh and the


judgmentin Gobind andobservedthattherighttoprivacyhasbeen
heldtobeaFundamentalRightofthecitizenbeinganintegralpartof

Article 21. As demonstrated herein above, neither of the


aforementioned judgments recognises privacy as a part of the

ba
y

FundamentalRighttolifeandlibertyunderArticle21. Ineffect,the
Division Benchmade observationswhichwere contrarytothoselaid

om

downbylargerBenches.Heurgedthattheseobservationsthereforedo
notconstitute theratioofthatjudgmentnorholdanyprecedentiary
value.Theyarenotbinding.Seenfromthiscontext,themeremention
ofcertainrightssuchastherighttoeatwasnothingmorethanabroad
equationofcertainunspeltrightslikerighttosleeporrighttobreathe
orrighttodrink. Itisclearfromtheinclusionofthewordsrightto
blinkthatthisexpositionoftherighttoprivacyismoreinthenatureof
aliteraryexercisethanajudicialfinding.Theconclusionthattheright
toprivacyandtherighttoeatshouldbetreatedlikeaFundamental
Rightwaswithoutanyreasoning.

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Hecontendedthatthewordsrighttoeat,whenequated

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78.

79

C
ou

withthewordsliketherighttosleep,breatheordrink,carryaspecific
emphasis. Theyareconcernedwiththerightofeverypersontohave

access to food in order to nourish his body and sustain his life. It
cannot be stretched by any means to cover the right to choose a

ig
h

particularkindoffood.Assumingthereforethattherighttoeatisapart
oftherighttoprivacy,whichmightbeapartoftherighttolifeand
liberty,itcannotbeextendedtomeanthattherighttoeatbeefisa

fundamentalrighttoeat.Therighttoeatthefoodofone'schoicehas
beenheldtobeanaspectofaperson'srighttoprivacybyatwoJudge

ba
y

BenchoftheSupremeCourtin HinsaVirodhakSanghv.Mirzapur
MotiKureshiJamat.

However, the aforesaid observation proceeds

om

onanassumptionthattherighttoprivacyisincludedinArticle21of
the Constitution. Since it has been demonstrated that the right to
privacyisnotincludedinArticle21,therighttoeatthefoodofone's
choiceasapartoftherighttoprivacycanalsonotbereadintothe
fundamental right to life or personal liberty. He urged that the
observationisnotcentraltothejudgmentwhichwasconcernedwith
totalbanonslaughterhouses.Itwasinthatcontextthatthejudgment
merelymadeapassingobservation,moreinthenatureofanobiter,and
certainlynotasratio,thatwhatonechoosestoeatisone'spersonal
affairandtherefore,partofhisrighttoprivacy. Thenegativetoneof

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the language used itself indicates that the observation is not a

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declaration of a right. As such, the casual observation has no

79.

C
ou

precedentiaryvalue.

In National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India

members of the transgender community had filed a writ petition

ig
h

seekinglegaldeclarationoftheirrighttochoosetheirgenderidentity.
Inthesaidjudgment,therighttoprivacyisthusseenasbeinganaspect
of life which goes to make a person's life meaningful. Article 21 is

consideredtobeaprotectorofsuchaspectsoflife.Assuch,Article21
isdistinctandseparatefromavarietyofsubordinaterightssuchasthe

ba
y

righttoprivacy,andcanonlybeunderstoodasaguardianofthelesser
constituentrights.Hereiteratedthattheredoesnotappeartobeany

om

authoritativejudgmentoftheSupremeCourtwhichlaysdowntheratio
thattherighttoprivacyshouldbeconsideredafundamentalright.As
righttoprivacycannotexistdehorsArticle21,thentherighttochoice
of food also cannot be elevated to the status of an independent
fundamentalright.

80.

HereliedupontotheorderoftheSupremeCourtinJustice

K.S.Puttaswamy&Anotherv.UnionofIndia. Bythesaidorder,a
threeJudgeBenchoftheSupremeCourtreferredthedecisionsofthe
respectiveConstitutionBenchesinKharakSinghandM.P.Sharmatoa

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largerBench.Hepointedoutthatthesaidorderrecordsthatthereisa

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certain amount of apparent unresolved contradiction in the law

C
ou

declaredbytheSupremeCourtinregardtotherightofprivacy.The
issue has therefore, been referred to a larger Bench. The order of
reference makes it clear that even the threeJudge Bench of the
Supreme Court isof the view thatnumeroussmaller Bencheswhich

ig
h

declaredthattherighttoprivacyisapartofrighttolifeandpersonal
libertyascontemplatedbyArticle21oftheConstitution,departedfrom

81.

theprincipleslaiddownbytheConstitutionofIndia.

The Supreme Court in the case of Central Board of

ba
y

Dawoodi Bohra Community v. State of Maharashtra 45 has


categoricallyheldthatthelawlaiddownbytheSupremeCourtina

om

decision delivered by a Bench of larger strength is binding on any


subsequentBenchoflesser strength.Therefore,aHighCourtisalso
boundbyadecisiondeliveredbyaLargerBench.

82.

He,therefore,submitted thatitisasettledlawthatthe

right of privacy claimed by the Petitioner is not a part of his


fundamental right to life or personal liberty under Article 21 of the
ConstitutionofIndia.Intheabsenceofsuchafundamentalright,the
ultra vires challenge based on breach of fundamental rights is not
available. As it is not a fundamental right, its curtailment by the
45 (2005)2 SCC 673

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impugnedlegislationcannotbeattackedforwantofcompellingpublic

C
ou

83.

rt

interest.

The learned Advocate General submitted that the

impugned provision of the Amendment Act finds justification in


compellingpublicinterest.HesubmittedthattheAmendmentActhas

ig
h

beenenactedbythelegislaturekeepinginviewthedirectiveprinciples
of the State Policy embodied in Articles 48 and 48A and the
fundamental duties enshrined in Clause (g) of Article 51A of the

ConstitutionofIndia. HerelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtin
thecaseofAIIMSStudents'Unionv.AIIMS&Others46.Hesubmitted

ba
y

thatthoughthefundamentaldutiesmaynotbeenforceable,itcanserve
asaguidenotonlyforresolvingtheissuebeforetheWritCourtbutalso

om

formouldingthereliefwhichmaybegivenbytheCourt.Hesubmitted
thatadutyofeverycitizenofIndiaiscollectivelyspeakingthedutyof
theState. RelyinguponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof
Javedv.StateofHaryana,heurgedthatthefundamentalrightswill
havetobereadalongwiththedirectiveprinciplesoftheStatePolicy
andfundamentalduties.RelyinguponadecisionoftheApexCourtin
the case of Akhil Bharatiya Soshit Karmachari Sangh v. Unionof
India, he urged that the laws made in furtherance of the subjects
mentionedinPartIVandIVAoftheConstitutionmustbeassumedtobe
incompellingpublicinterest.Hesubmittedthatifrestrictionsimposed
46 (2002)1 SCC 428

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by the law are in implementation of the directive principles of the

rt

Constitution,thesamewouldbeupheldasbeinginpublicinterestas

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ou

theindividualinterestmustyieldtotheinterestofthecommunityat

large. He submittedthat as the impugnedlegislation advancesthe


directives principles of the State Policy, there is a compelling public
interest.HealsorelieduponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof

ig
h

AnimalWelfareBoardv.A.Nagraja. HepointedoutthattheApex
Court has held that as far as the animals are concerned, life means
somethingmorethanmeresurvivalorexistence.Hesubmittedthatthe

ApexCourtheldthatthe animalshaverighttoleadlifewithsome
intrinsicworth,honouranddignity.HesubmittedthatintheStatement

ba
y

ofObjectsandReasonsintheAmendmentAct,thereisajustificationin
compellingpublicinterest.HeurgedthattheStatementofObjectsand

om

ReasonsintheAmendmentActpartakesthecolourofArticle48ofthe
ConstitutionofIndia.WhilerelyinguponadecisionofthisCourtinthe
caseofDhariwalIndustriesLtd.v.UnionofIndia 47,heurgedthatthe
compellingpublicinterestisinherentlyconnectedtopublicgood. He
pointedoutthatthereisareasonablenexusbetweentheenactmentand
theobjectsoughttobeachievedbytheActof1976andtheimpugned
provisionsofSections5Dand9B.

47 2003(2) BomCR 698

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84.

84

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RelyinguponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof

rt

IntellectualForumv.StateofAndhraPradesh 48,heurgedthatArticle

C
ou

48AandArticle51Aarenotonlyfundamentalinthegovernanceofthe
countrybutthatitisadutyoftheStatetoapplytheseprinciplesin
making the laws. These two Articles are to be kept in mind to
understandthescopeandpurportofthefundamentalrightsguaranteed

ig
h

bytheConstitutionofIndiaincludingArticles14,19and21thereof.
RelyinguponadecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof Municipal
CorporationoftheCityofAhmedabad&OthersV.JanMohammed

Usmanbhai and Another49, he urged that the expression in the


interest of general public is of wide import comprehending public

ba
y

order,publichealth,publicsecurity,morals,economicwelfareofthe
communityandtheobjectsmentionedinPartIVoftheConstitution.He

om

submittedthatsincetheimpugnedprovisionsoftheAmendmentAct
areinfurtheranceofthedirectivessoughttobeachievedunderPartIV
of the Constitution, they are in the general public interest. He
submittedthatnofurtherproofoftheircharacteroroftheirquantum,
ordegreeofcompellingpublicinterestneedstobeestablishedbythe
State.

85.

ThelearnedAdvocateGeneralsubmittedthatthereisno

requirementoflawthatthestatementofObjectsandReasonsmustbe
48 (2006)3 SCC 549
49 (1986)3 SCC 20

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restrictedintheBillandthelawthatmaybefollowed.Relyingupona

rt

decisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofKeshavlalKhemchand&Sons

C
ou

v.UnionofIndia,heurgedthatiftheenactmentisotherwisewithin
the constitutionally permissible limits, the fact that there was a
divergencebetweentheobjectsappendedtotheBillandthetenorof

86.

ig
h

theActcannotbeagroundfordeclaringthelawasunconstitutional.

ThelearnedAdvocateGeneralalsodealtwiththeargument

basedontheviolationoffundamentalrightsguaranteedunderArticle

25oftheConstitutionofIndia.Hereliedupontheobservationsmade
bytheApexCourtinthecaseof MohmmedHanifQuareshiv.The

ba
y

StateofBihar50(forshortQuareshiI).TheApexCourtheldthatthe
slaughterofcowsonBakrIddaywasnotanessentialreligiouspractice

om

forMuslimsand,therefore,atotalbanoncowsslaughteronalldays
including BakriEid daywouldnotbeviolativeofArticle25(1)ofthe
ConstitutionofIndia.Hesubmittedthatthelawisverywellsettledby
theApexCourtinthecaseofDr.M.IsmailFaruquiv.UnionofIndia.
He submitted that the protection under Articles 25 and 26 of the
Constitution is with respect to only to such religious practice which
formsanessentialandintegralpartofthereligion.Healsoreliedupon
adecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofAshutoshLahiriwhereinthe
ApexCourtheldthatitisoptionalforaMuslimtosacrificeagoatfor

50 AIR 1958 SC 731

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onepersonoracoworacamelforsevenpersons.TheApexCourtheld

rt

thattherewasnofundamentalrightofaMuslimtoinsistonslaughter

87.

C
ou

ofacow.

As far as the arguments based on Article 29 of the

Constitution of India is concerned, the learned Advocate General

ig
h

submittedthatacustomaryrightshouldnotbeconfusedwithculture.
Article29isconcernedwithpreservationofessentialcultureofpeople
andnotwithperipheralcustomswhichoftenhavenorelationtoan

existingculturetowhichtheyclaimaffinity.Heurgedthattheculture
refers to the underlying characteristics that is shared in common by

ba
y

people in a particular section of the Society. He submitted that the


Petitioners in the present case have failed to establish that the

om

slaughteringofcows,bullsandbullocksorconsumptionoftheirfleshis
suchacommonunderlyingcharacteristicsofaparticularclasstowhich
they belong. He urged that in any event, assuming that the
fundamentalrightsunderArticle29oftheConstitutionofIndiahave
beenrestricted,suchrestrictionisinpublicinterest.

88.

ThelearnedAdvocateGeneralsubmittedthattheAnimal

Preservation Act has been enacted under Entry 15 of List II of the


SeventhScheduleoftheConstitutionofIndia,andtherefore,inviewof
Clause3ofArticle246oftheConstitution,theStateLegislaturewas

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competent to enact the said law. He submitted that the Animal

rt

Preservation ActandthePreventionofCrueltytoAnimalsAct,1960

C
ou

operateincompletelyindependentlegislativefields.Hesubmittedthat
thePreventionofCrueltytoAnimalsActhasbeenenactedunderEntry
17oftheConcurrentList.Healsorelieduponthedoctrineofpithand
substance.AsfarastheargumentthatSection5Doperatesbeyondthe

ig
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territoriesoftheStateofMaharashtraisconcerned,heurgedthatthe
doctrineofnexuscanbeinvokedtosustainthevalidityoftheSection
5D. He relied upon a decision of the Apex Court in the Case of

KhyerbariTeaCo.v.StateofAssam 51.Hesubmittedthatinanycase,
evenassumingthattherewasarepugnancy,theStateActhavingthe

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assentofthePresidentwillprevail.

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89.

ThelearnedAdvocateGeneraldealtwiththeargumentof

misuse of Sections 5C, 5D, 9A and 9B and submitted that it is no


groundtoinvalidatethelegislationasobservedinthedecisionofthe
ApexCourtinthecaseofSushilKumarSharmav.UnionofIndia52.

90.

Heurgedthat Section9Bcannotbereadinisolation. A

conjointreadingofSections9Aand9Bmakeitclearthatinatrialfor
anoffenceundertheimpugnedAct,twofoundationalfactswillhaveto
be established by the prosecution viz., (a) the flesh is of an animal
51 AIR 1964 SC 925
52 (2005)6 SCC 281

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protectedundertheActand(b)theaccusedisfoundinpossessionof

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thesame.Oncethesefoundationalfactsareestablished,onlythenthe

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burdenwillshiftontheaccusedtoshowthattheslaughteretcwasnot
incontraventionoftheprovisionstheimpugnedAct.Inresponsetoa

query made by the Court, he candidly stated that the possession


contemplated by Sections 5C and 5D will have to be conscious

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possession.

91.AsfarasthechallengetoSection9Bisconcerned,heurged

thatpresumptionofinnocenceisnotafundamentalrightguaranteedby
theConstitution.Hepointedoutseveralpenalstatuteswhichprovide

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forreverseonusclauseslikeSection9B.

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[A]

92.

CONSIDERATION OF SUBMISSIONS ON THE


CONSTITUTIONALVALIDITYOFSECTION5AND
ESPECIALLY THE AMENDMENT MADE BY THE
AMENDMENTACT.

The first question to be considered in these matters is

whethertheamendmenttoSection5oftheAnimalPreservationAct
made by the Amendment Act by incorporating the words bull or
bullockafterthewordcowisconstitutionallyvalid?

93.BeforeWedealwiththisissue,itmustbenotedthatin
some of the Petitions, there is also a challenge to the validity of
unamendedSection5whichimposesatotalbanonslaughterofcows.

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However,thischallengewasspecificallyrejectedbyaDivisionBenchin

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andothers.Thesaiddecisionhasattainedfinality.

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thecaseofShaikhZahidMukhtarvsCommissionerofPolice,Thane

STATEOFGUJARATVS.MIRZAPURMOTIKURESHI
KASSABJAMAT
Before we deal with the grounds of challenge and the

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94.

defenceoftheState,itwillbenecessarytomakeareferencetothe
decisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofStateofGujaratv.Mirzapur

MotiKureshiKassabJamat.Thereasonformakingareferencetothe
saiddecisionisthatbythesaiddecision,aConstitutionBenchofthe

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ApexCourtupheldthevalidityofasimilarprovisionincorporatedinthe
BombayAnimalPreservationAct,1954(asapplicabletotheStateof

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Gujarat).ThisActishereafterforconvenienceisreferredasGujarat
Act.Beforeitsamendment,Subsection(1)ofSection5ofGujaratAct
providedthatnopersonshallslaughterorcausetobeslaughteredany
animalunlesshehasobtainedinrespectofsuchanimal,acertificatein
writingfromtheCompetentAuthorityappointedfortheareathatthe
animalisfitforslaughter.Intheyear1961,Section5oftheGujarat
Act was amended. Again in the year 1979, the Gujarat Act was
amendedbyincorporatingaprovisioninSubsection(1)inSection5
thatnosuchcertificateshallbegrantedinrespectofacow.Bythesaid
amendment, Subsection (1) of Section 5A was incorporated which

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providedthatnocertificateunderSubsection(1)ofSection5shallbe

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grantedinrespectofacow,acalfofacowaswellasabullorbullock

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below the age of 16 years. The said amendment of 1979 was

challenged before the Gujarat High Court. The said challenge was
turneddown.Thereafter,thematterwascarriedtotheApexCourtand
the Constitution Bench of the Apex Court in the case of Haji

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UsmanbhaiHasanbhaiQureshiv.StateofGujarat 53turneddownthe
challenge.WearereproducingrelevantprovisionsoftheGujaratAct.

UnamendedSections5and6oftheGujaratActreadthus:

95.

(2) No certificate shall be granted under subsection


(1),ifintheopinionofthecompetentauthority
(a)theanimal,whethermaleorfemale,isuseful
orlikelytobecomeusefulforthepurposeof
draughtoranykindofagriculturaloperations;

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5.(1)Notwithstandinganylawforthetimebeingin
force or any usage to the contrary, no person shall
slaughterorcausetobeslaughteredanyanimalunless
hehasobtainedinrespectofsuchanimalacertificate
inwritingfromthecompetentauthorityappointedfor
theareathattheanimalisfitforslaughter.

(b) the animal, if male, is useful or likely to


becomeusefulforthepurposeofbreeding;
(c) the animal, if female, is useful or likely to
becomeusefulforthepurposeofgivingmilk
orbearingoffspring.
(3) Nothing in this section shall apply to the
slaughterofanyanimalabovetheageoffifteenyears
forbonafidereligiouspurposes:
53 (1986)3 SCC 12

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Providedthatacertificateinwritingforsuchslaughter
hasbeenobtainedfromthecompetentauthority.

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(4)(6)***

6.
Noanimalinrespectofwhichacertificatehas
beenissuedunderSection5shallbeslaughteredinany
placeotherthanaplacespecifiedbysuchauthorityor
officer as the State Government may appoint in this
behalf.

Actwhichreadsthus:

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Intheyear1961,theActwasamendedbySection4oftheAmendment

4. Amendment of Section 5 of Bombay Act 72 of


1954.InSection5oftheprincipalAct,

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(1) after subsection (1), the following subsection


shallbeinserted,namely
(1A) No certificate under subsection (1) shall be
grantedinrespectofacow.;

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(2) insubsection(2),forthewordsNocertificate
thewords,brackets,figureandletterInrespectofan
animaltowhichsubsection(1A)doesnotapply,no
certificateshallbesubstituted;
(3) in subsection (3), for the words religious
purposesthewords,religiouspurposes,ifsuchanimal
isnotacowshallbesubstituted.

96.

Thereafter,atotalbanontheslaughterofcowwasbrought

aboutby1979AmendmentAct.Section1Awassubstitutedasunder:
(1A)
Nocertificateundersubsection(1)shall
begrantedinrespectof
(a)

acow;

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thecalfofacow,whetheramaleorfemaleand
ifmale,whethercastratedornot;

(c)

abullbelowtheageofsixteenyears;

(d)

abullockbelowtheageofsixteenyears.

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(b)

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97.

92

Thencamethe1994AmendmenttotheGujaratActwhich

furtheramendedSubsection(1A)ofSection5bysubstitutingClauses

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(c)and(d).TheSection2oftheAmendmentActof1994readsthus:

2. In the Bombay Animal Preservation Act, 1954


(hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in
Section5,
(1)insubsection (1A),forclauses(c)and(d),the
followingclausesshallbesubstituted,namely
abull;

(d)

abullock.;

(2)

insubsection(3)

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(c)

(i)

inclause(a),subclauses(ii)and(iii)shall
bedeleted;
(ii) inclause(b),afterthewordscalfofacow,
thewordsbullorbullockshallbeinserted.
98.

Thus,unamendedGujaratActcontainedSubsection(1)of

Section5whichprovidedthatnopersonshallslaughterorcausetobe
slaughteredanyanimalunlesshehasobtainedinrespectofsuchanimal
acertificateinwritingfromtheCompetentAuthoritythattheanimalis
fitforslaughter.Bythe1979Amendment,Subsection(1A)ofSection

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5wasenactedwhichimposedacompletebanonslaughterofacow,

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calfofthecowandbullorbullockbelowtheageof16years.Bythe

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Amendmentoftheyear1994whichwasthesubjectmatterofchallenge
before the Apex Court, Clauses (c) and (d) of Subsection (1A) of

Section5weresubstituted. Theeffect ofsubstitutionofClauses(c)


and(d)wasthatnocertificateunderSubsection(1)ofSection5could

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be granted in respect of a cow, bull or bullock. As a result of the


Amendments of the years 1979 and 1994, there is a complete ban
imposedontheissuingofcertificatesunderSubsection(1)ofSection5

for slaughter of cow, bull or bullock. In effect, there is a complete


prohibitiononslaughterofcow,bullandbullockinGujarat.Thesaid

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1994amendmenttoSection5wasstruckdownbyGujaratHighCourt.
TheStateofGujaratfiledAppealbeforetheApexCourt.Themajority

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Judgment wasbytheHon'bletheChiefJustice. OneHon'bleJudge


dissented. The Apex Court allowed the Appeal and held that 1994
amendmentwasintravirestheConstitution. TheApexCourtupheld
thevalidityoftheGujaratAmendment. TheApexCourtinitsearlier
decision in the case of Mohd Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar
(QureshiI) dealt with a Bihar Legislation imposing prohibition on
slaughter of bovine cattle. The Apex Court upheld the challenge to
constitutionalvalidityoftheBiharAct. Inthecaseof AbdulHakim
Quareshiv.StateofBihar54 (forshort QuareshiII), asimilarview
wastaken.TheApexCourtnotedinParagraph35ofthedecisioninthe
54 AIR 1961 SC 448

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caseof Mirzapur thatfollowingsixcontentionsraisedbytheStateof

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Gujaratwererequiredtobedecided.Thesaidcontentionsreadthus:

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QuareshiI holdsDirectivePrinciplesofStatePolicy
to be unenforceable and subservient to the
Fundamental Rights and, therefore, refuses to assign
any weight to the Directive Principle contained in
Article48oftheConstitutionandrefusestoholdthat
itsimplementationcanbeavalidgroundforproving
reasonability of the restriction imposed on the
FundamentalRightguaranteedbyArticle 19(1)(g) of
theConstitutionatheorywhichstandsdiscardedina
seriesofsubsequentdecisionsofthisCourt.

(2) Whathasbeennoticedin QuareshiI isArticle


48 alone; Article 48A and Article 51A(g) were not
noticedastheywerenotavailablethen,astheywere
introduced in the Constitution by Fortysecond
Amendmentwitheffectfrom3.1.1977.

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(3) The meaning assigned to "other milch and


draught cattle" in QuareshiI is not correct. Such a
narrowviewashasbeentakeninQuareshiIdoesnot
fit into the scheme of the Constitution and, in
particular,thespiritofArticle48.
(4) QuareshiI doesnotassigntherequisiteweight
tothefactscontainedinthePreambleandStatement
of Objects and Reasonsof the enactments impugned
therein.
(5) 'Restriction'and'Regulation'include'Prohibition'
and a partial restraint does not amount to total
prohibition.Subsequenttothedecisionin QuareshiI
thetrendofjudicialdecisionsinthisareaindicatesthat
regulationorrestrictionwithinthemeaningofArticles
19(5) and 19(6) of the Constitution includes total
prohibitionthequestionwhichwasnotansweredand
leftopeninQuareshiI.
(6) In spite of having decided against the writ
petitionersonalltheirprincipalpleas,theonlyground
onwhichtheconstitutionalvalidityoftheimpugned
enactmentswasstruckdowninQuareshiIisfounded

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onthefindingoffactsthatcowprogenyceasedtobe
usefulafteraparticularage,thatpreservationofsuch
'uselesscattle'byestablishmentofgosadanwasnota
practical and viable proposition, that a large
percentage of the animals, not fit for slaughter, are
slaughtered surreptitiously outside the municipal
limits,thatthequantumofavailablefodderforcattle
added with the dislodgement of butchers from their
traditionalprofessionrendersthetotalprohibitionon
slaughternotinpublicinterest.Thefactualsituation
hasundergoneadrasticchangesincethenandhence
thefactualfoundation,onwhichthelegalfindinghas
beenconstructed,ceasestoexistdeprivingthelaterof
allitsforce.

TheApexCourtalsodealtwiththeissuewhethertheban

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restriction.

imposed on the slaughter of bulls or bullocks was a reasonable

99.

ConclusionsoftheApexCourtonthesaidsixcontentions

canbesummarizedasunder:

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Question1
The restriction which can be placed on the rights
listedinArticle 19(1) arenotsubjectonlytoArticles
19(2) to 19(6); the provisions contained in the
chapteronDirectivePrinciplesofStatePolicycan
alsobepressedintoserviceandreliedonforthe
purpose of adjudging the reasonability of
restrictionsplacedontheFundamentalRights.
(emphasisadded)
Question2
It is thus clear that faced with the question of
testingtheconstitutionalvalidityofanystatutory
provision or an executive act, or for testing the
reasonableness of any restriction cast by law on
the exercise of any fundamental right by way of

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Question3

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regulation, control or prohibition, the Directive


PrinciplesofStatePolicyandFundamentalDuties
as enshrined in Article 51A of the Constitution
play a significant role. The decision in QuareshiI
[1959 SCR 629 : AIR 1958 SC 731] in which the
relevantprovisionsofthethreeimpugnedlegislations
was struck down on the singular ground of lack of
reasonability, would have decided otherwise if only
Article48wasassigneditsfullandcorrectmeaning
anddueweightagewasgiventheretoandArticles48
A and 51A(g) were available in the body of the
Constitution.
(emphasisadded)

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Inouropinion,theexpression'milchordraught
cattle' as employed in Article 48 of the
Constitutionisadescriptionofaclassificationor
species of cattle as distinct from cattle which by
theirnaturearenotmilchordraughtandthesaid
words do not include milch or draught cattle,
whichonaccountofageordisability,ceasetobe
functionalforthosepurposeseithertemporarilyor
permanently. The said words take colour from the
precedingwords"cowsorcalves".Aspecieofcattle
which is milch or draught for a number of years
duringitsspanoflifeistobeincludedwithinthesaid
expression. On ceasing to be milch or draught it
cannotbepulledoutfromthecategoryof"other
milchanddraughtcattle."
(emphasisadded)
Question4
The facts stated in the Preamble and the
StatementofObjectsandReasonsappendedtoany
legislation are evidence of legislative judgment.
They indicate the thought process of the elected
representativesofthepeopleandtheircognizanceof
theprevalentstateofaffairs,impellingthemtoenact
thelaw.These,therefore,constituteimportantfactors
whichamongstotherswillbetakenintoconsideration
by the court in judging the reasonableness of any
restrictionimposedontheFundamentalRightsofthe

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individuals. The Court would begin with a


presumption of reasonability of the restriction,
moresowhenthefactsstatedintheStatementof
ObjectsandReasonsandthePreamblearetaken
tobecorrectandtheyjustifytheenactmentoflaw
forthepurposesoughttobeachieved.
(emphasisadded)
Question5

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Inthepresentcase,wefindthattheissuerelates
toatotalprohibitionimposedontheslaughterof
cowandherprogeny.Thebanistotalwithregard
totheslaughter ofone particular classofcattle.
The ban is not on the total activity of butchers
(kasais);theyareleftfreetoslaughtercattleother
than those specified in the Act. It is not that the
respondentwrit petitioners survive only by
slaughteringcowprogeny.Theycanslaughteranimals
otherthancowprogenyandcarryontheirbusiness
activity. Insofar as trade in hides, skins and other
allied things (which are derived from the body of
deadanimals)isconcerned,itisnotnecessarythat
theanimalmustbeslaughteredtoavailthesethings.
The animal, whose slaughter has been prohibited,
woulddieanaturaldeathevenotherwiseandinthat
casetheirhides,skinsandotherpartsofbodywould
be available for trade and industrial activity based
thereon.
Weholdthatthoughitispermissibletoplaceatotal
ban amounting to prohibition on any profession,
occupation,tradeorbusinesssubjecttosatisfyingthe
testofbeingreasonableintheinterestofthegeneral
public, yet,inthepresentcasebanningslaughter
of cow progeny is not a prohibition but only a
restriction.
(emphasisadded)
Question6
The Legislature has correctly appreciated the
needsofitsownpeopleandrecordedthesamein
thePreambleoftheimpugnedenactmentandthe

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StatementofObjectsandReasonsappendedtoit.
Inthelightofthematerialavailableinabundance
beforeus,thereisnoescapefromtheconclusion
that the protection conferred by impugned
enactment on cow progeny is needed in the
interestofNation'seconomy.Merelybecauseitmay
cause 'inconvenience' or some 'dislocation' to the
butchers, restriction imposed by the impugned
enactmentdoesnotceasetobeintheinterestofthe
generalpublic.Theformermustyieldtothelatter.
(emphasisadded)
Inparagraph81,theApexCourt,observedthus:

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100.

(a)

ThefactscontainedinpreambleandtheStatementof
Objects and Reasons in the impugned enactment
highlightthefollowingfacts:
Cow and her progeny sustain the health of the
nation;
Workingbullsareindispensableinagricultureas
theysupplypowermorethananyanimal;

(c)

The dung of the animal is cheaper than the


artificial manures and is extremely useful for
productionofbiogas;

(d)

The backbone of Indian Agriculture is the cow


andherprogenyandtheyhaveontheirpatient
backthewholestructureoftheIndianagriculture
andeconomicsystem;

(e)

The economy of the State of Gujarat is still


predominantlyagricultural. Afterthecattleare
ceasedtobreedoraretoooldtodowork,they
stillcontinuetogivedungforfuel,manureand
biogas and, therefore, such animals cannot be
saidtobeuseless.

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(b)

Whiledealingwiththeissuewhetherthebanonslaughterofacowor
her progeny is in the public interest, the Apex Court, in addition,

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consideredtheaffidavitsfiledonrecordandinparticulartheaffidavits

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of the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Cooperative and Rural

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DevelopmentDepartmentandtheJointDirectorofAnimalHusbandry.
Reliancewasplacedonareportonthedraughtability ofbullsabove
the16yearsofage.EventhereportoftheWorkingGrouponAnimal
HusbandryandDairyFarmingandtheTenthFiveYearPlan20022007

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were dealt with by the Apex Court. The report of the National
CommissiononCattlewasalsoreferred. InParagraph108,theApex
Courtobservedthattheutilityofthecowcannotbedoubtedatall.The

ApexCourtnotedthattheimportantrolethatthecowandherprogeny
playintheIndianeconomyhasbeenacknowledgedinitsdecisionin

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thecaseofQuareshiI.Afterconsideringallthefacts,theApexCourt
heldthatthebanonslaughterofcowandherprogenyisintheinterest

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ofgeneralpublicwithinthemeaningofClause(6)ofArticle19ofthe
ConstitutionofIndia.

FACTUAL DETAILS PLACED ON RECORD BYTHE STATE


GOVERNMENT
101.

InthelightofthelawlaiddownbytheApexCourt,itis

necessarytoexaminethefactualdetailsplacedonrecordbytheState
Governmentinthepresentcase.Thoughthereareearlieraffidavitsin
replyfiledbytheStateGovernmentinsomeofthePetitions,thelearned
AdvocateGeneralhasmainlyrelieduponanaffidavitofShriShashank

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Madhav Sathe, the Deputy Secretary (Animal Husbandry) of the

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Agriculture,dated1stDecember2015inPILNo.76of2015.Inthesaid

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affidavit,a reliance hasbeen placedon the affidavitinreplyfiledin


WritPetitionNo.1314of2015andWritPetitionNo.1653of2015.Shri
Sathe in his affidavit stated that in the year 1970, there were 1451
veterinarydispensariesintheStateofMaharashtrawhichnumberhas

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gradually increased. He has stated in the affidavit that as of 2015,


therewere4856veterinarydispensariesfortakingcareoftheentire
livestockintheState.Hehasfurtherstatedthatintheyear197071,

66.20lakhbovineanimalswerevaccinatedandintheyear201415,
455.21lakhbovineanimalswerevaccinated.Inthesaidaffidavit,he

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pleadedthataccordingtothestatisticaldataquotedbyNationalDairy
DevelopmentBoard,initsreportDairyinginMaharashtraStatistical

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Profile2015,theareaunderfoddercropsinMaharashtraintheyear
20102011was9,01,000hectaresandtheareaofpermanentpasture
andgrazinglandswas12,45,000hectares. Inthesaidaffidavit,he
pleaded that in addition, there is a sizable production of coarse
foodgrains like bajra, raagi, jowar, millet etc. The plant residue of
thesecropsisusedasafodder. Allthesefacilitiesputtogethertryto
cope up with the fodder requirement of cattle population of
MaharashtraState. However,theuncertaintiesinmonsoonrainspose
difficulties in availability of green as well as dry fodder. The State
Governmentthroughvariousmeasuresispromotingproductionaswell

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as availability through preservation of green and dry fodder for the

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cattle.Thesaidmeasuressetoutintheaffidavitareasunder:

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(a) Distribution of fodder seed to the farmers under

centrally sponsored feed and fodder scheme, RKVY


(Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana) and also under
accelerated fodder development programme. Fodder

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seedoftheorderof6782MThasbeendistributedin
theyear20142015. Besidesthis,foddersaplingsof
the order of 13.52 lakh pertaining to multicut

perennial varieties of grasses have also been

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distributedintheyear20142015.

(b) Distributionofchaffcuttersforpreventingwastageof

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available fodder has also been taken up under the


centrally sponsored scheme and also under RKVY
(Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana) and NLM (National
LivestockMission).Fromtheyear20122013to2015
16,atotalnumberof26044powerdrivenchaffcutters
havebeendistributedtothefarmersinthestate.

(c) Preservation of green fodder through silage making


has also been promoted and farmers have been
encouragedthesilopitsandpreservefodderinthem.

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During the year 20122013 and 20132014, a total

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number of 3706 silopits have been constructed at

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farmer'slevelforpreservationofgreenfodder.

102. Inthesaidaffidavit,itiscontendedthattherewere290
GoshalasandPanjarpolsintheStatewhichtakecareofprovidingfeed

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andfoddertothecattleshelteredwiththem.Hehasalsosetoutthe
funds allocated for drought relief for the years 20102011 to 2015
2016. Hehasgivenareasonastowhythereisaproblemoffodder

shortageinsomeareas.Intheaffidavit,thedetailsofthelandholding
in theStateofMaharashtraaresetout.Paragraph6ofthe affidavit

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readsthus:

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6. Inreplytopara8oftheAffidavitinrejoinderIsay
thatinWesternCountrieslikeCanada,USA,European
Countries, Australia etc. the land holding is huge, as
comparedtothelandholdingintheState.
LandholdingstatusinMaharashtraisasfollows:
Area(000)Ht Number(000) Category
01Ht

3186

6709

Marginal
Farmers

12Ht

5739

4052

Small
Farmers

24Ht

5765

2159

Semi
Medium

410Ht 3993

711

Medium

10 Ht & 1084
above

68

Large

Total

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19767
13699
(Source:AgricultureCensus20102011)

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Isaythat,fromtheaboveinformation,itisclearthat
averageland holding inMaharashtra State islow.
The farm sizes are such that the farmers cannot
afford use of tractors and more than 90% of the
farmers(below4Htofland)dependonbullocksto
plough the land. The concept of tilling the land
withmechanicaltillersisapplicableincaseoflarge
farms. This is not the position in the State. An
averagesmallfarmercanreadyhisfarmwithproper
tillingin2/3days'timebeforetherainsareexpected.
The farmer is not caught unawares. Further,
mechanical tilling with tractors has got its own
disadvantage.Themechanicaltillerbreaksthecrustof
the soil up to the depth of 12 to 15 inches. This
exposesthecrustof12to15inchestooutsidedryness
and the humus of the entire crust is lost. In this
situation, unless there is good rain or irrigation to
makethecrustof12to15incheswet,sowingcannot
take place. Onthe other hand,ploughingwiththe
conventionalploughwiththehelpofbullocksbreaks
thecrustuptothedepthof5to6inchesonlyandthe
humusbelowthislevelisretained. Inthissituation,
evenasmallamountofrainmakesthecrustwetand
suitable for sowing. I say that the Petitioners have
givenexamplesofunusualphenomenaofrainthisyear
in Western Maharashtra. The phenomena being
unusualcannotjustifytheircontention.

I further say that bullocks also are used for


transportation of Agriculture produce through
bullockcartwhichismucheconomicalthanusing
motor vehicles to majority of poor farmers.
Besides, ploughing and sowing, bullocks are also
used for carting, hauling, water lifting, grinding
etc.
(emphasisadded)
103.

ExtensiverelianceisplacedbyShriSatheinhisaffidaviton

thedecisioninthecaseofStateofGujaratv.MirzapurMotiKureshi
KassabJamat.InParagraph9oftheaffidavit,emphasisislaidonthe
cowdung.Hestatedthatthedungofcowanditsprogenyiscollected

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byvillagersandfarmersforuseasafuelaswellasfertilizer.Relevant

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portionofParagraph9readsthus:

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.....One can see huge heaps of composting


fertilizerincornersofagriculturalfarmsandother
places. Naturally, these heaps are created from
collecteddungandhardlyanydungisallowedto
go waste. Similarly, urine of the cattle which is
usedaspesticideafterprocessingwithneemleaves
isrequiredinsmallquantitieswhichiscollectedby
the farmers and cattle owners in the morning at
theirhomebeforethecattleventureouteitherfor
grazing or go to the farms for agricultural
activities. Thereisnodenyingthefactthatchicken
excreta or sheep and goats excreta are more potent
fertilisers. Thefertiliserrequirementforagricultural
sectorinIndiaisquitehugeandtheexcretaofgoat,
sheep and chicken cannot meet that requirement.
Thoughhumanexcretaisalsoagoodfertilizer,itsuse
as fertilizer is shrinking with passage of time. In
earlierdayshumanbeingswenttoeasethemselvesto
the agricultural farms in early mornings. However,
with growing emphasis on 'shauchalayas' the
availability of human excreta as a fertilizer is being
totallywipedout.
I further submit that organic manure
obtainedfromdungshouldnotbeviewedonlyin
terms of monetary price. There is a difference
between price and value. Air has no price but is
invaluable. Water has negligible price but is
invaluable. Similarly, organic manure may be
available at certain price but its value is much
more. Itrestoresthefertilityofsoiltowhichno
pricecanbeattributed.Itisdevoidoftheserious
adverse featuresof chemical fertilizers which are
used as an alternate due to shortage of organic
manure.Chemicalfertiliserspollutethesoil,thecrop,
thesubsoilwatertable,andarehugefinancialburden
onthefarmers. Consistentuseofchemicalfertilizers
hasruinedthesoilinPunjabandotherpartsofthe
countryandrenderedthesoilasinfertile. Organic
manure rejuvenates soil, is freely available as a
bonus and byproduct from cattle at the farmers'
door step and does not need the huge

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104.

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infrastructure for production and distribution of


chemicalfertilisers.
(emphasisadded)

Paragraph10oftheaffidavitofShriSathedealswiththe

contention regarding the methane emissions. It is contended that


methaneisnotproducedonlybycattleandthereareothersourcesof

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methaneemission.Itiscontendedasunder:

105.

Belchingorbreakingwindsarenaturalthingswith
anylivingbeing.Evenhumanbeingsbelchandbreak
wind.Thusthisfactorcannotbemaderesponsiblefor
eliminationofthelivestockpopulation.
In Paragraph 11, it was contended that the shortage of

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dungwhichisthesourceoforganicmanurehascompelledtheuseof
chemicalfertilizers.Itiscontendedthattheshortagecanbeovercome

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onlybyincreasingdungavailabilityandthatispossibleonlyifthecattle
issaved.ItiscontendedthatundertheIndianAgricultureandAnimal
Husbandry Practices, yielding of dung by cattle enjoys the topmost
positionamongstalltheyieldsfromcattle. Itispointedoutthatthe
dungfuelisextensivelyusedforcookingpurposesaswellasforlining
thewallsandfloorsofhousesinvillages.Itiscontendedthatthedung
usedforliningofthewallsandfloorsactsasadisinfectantandalso
performsathermoregulatoryfunction.Itiscontendedthatthereports/
articlesannexedtotheaffidavitinrejoinderofthePetitionerwhichare
relieduponinParagraph16areprimarilyinrelationtoagriculturaland

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animalhusbandrypracticesmainlyinwesterncountries.Itiscontended

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thattheeffectofgrazingbycattleinpasturelandsisthatitenrichesthe

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pasturelandsbyexcretaandurineofthecattlegetsspreadintothe
pasturelands.InParagraph14,relianceisplacedonthefiguresofthe

cattlepopulationasperthelastfourcensusesof1997,2003,2007and
2012.Paragraph14readsthus:

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The cattle strength in Maharashtra is steadily


decliningandthefiguresforthesameareavailablein
the quinquennial census over the years. The cattle
populationasperthelastfourcensuses1997,2003,
2007and2012isasfollows:

1997

2003

2007

2012

Indigenous
AdultMale

6763

6243

6092

5748

Indigenous
AdultFemale

4643

3840

3650

3302

11406 10083

9742

9050

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Cattle

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Subtotal

(in
000's)

CrossbredAdult
Male

226

280

235

212

CrossbredAdult
Female

1243

1483

1734

2138

Young
Male*

Stock

2371

1994

1846

1264

Young
Female*

Stock

2825

2897

2627

2820

Total

18071 16737 16184 15484

*Bothindigenous&crossbredanduptotheageof2
to3years.

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Source : Livestock and Poultry Census, Maharashtra


Statefortheyear1997,2003,2007&2012,published
by Commissionerate of Animal Husbandry, Govt. of
Maharashtra.

In the State, almost all villages have cow grazing


land(Gairan). Theselandsarereservedforandin
thenameof'Cows'.Additionally,approximately12.5
lakh hector permanent pasture lands are also
availableforgrazing.
(emphasisadded)
Inparagraph15,hehasstatedthatthereisnothinglike

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106.

overpopulationofcattleinthefaceofdecliningcattlepopulation.It

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propersteps.

is contended that the straying of cattle on roads can be checked by

107.

Wemustnoteherethatatthestageofadmission,thesame

DeputySecretaryShriShashankSathehadfiledanaffidavitinreply.In

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Paragraph16ofthesaidaffidavit,itiscontendedthatfleshofcowand
itsprogenyleadstodiabetes,obesityetc.Wemustnoteherethatthe
saidcontentionisnotpressedintoserviceinthesubsequentaffidavit
dated1st December2015ofShriSathe. Wemustalsonotethatthe
learmedAdvocateGeneralhasnotpressedthesaidcontentioninthe
earlier affidavit of Shri Shashank Sathe. In the affidavit dated 1 st
December2015,hehasstatedthus:
17. Inreplytopara21oftheAffidavitinRejoinderI
submit that it is not the intention of the State to
impose a vegetarian regime or dictate/force food
habits. The nonvegetarians are free to have their
ownfoodchoicesbutcannotinsistasamatterofright

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108.

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onaparticulartypeofmeatbeefinthepresentcase.
As regards the effect of nonvegetarian food on
health, the consumers are free to havetheir own
informed choices. The aim and object of the
impugned act is to preserve cattle for their
undeniable utility in agriculture and draught
sectors.
(emphasisadded)

Comingbacktotheaffidavitdated1st December2015of

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Shri Shashank Sathe,itwas contendedthat the ban on slaughter of


cows,bullsandbullocksisonlyarestrictiononthebutchersanditwill
notamounttoacompletebanontheiroccupation.Itiscontendedthat

thebutchersslaughterotheranimalsaswell.Lastly,itiscontendedthat
after the Amendment Act came into force, 155 cases have been

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registeredintheStateallegingcommissionofoffenceundertheAnimal
PreservationAct.Itispointedoutthatsomeofthecasesareofbreach

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oftheamendedprovisionsoftheAnimalPreservationAct.

109.

ItmustbenotedherethatevenundertheunamendedAct,

underSection6,therewasaprohibitionontheslaughterofbullsand
bullockswhichwerescheduledanimalswithoutobtainingacertificate
inrespectofsuchanimalfromtheCompetentAuthoritythattheanimal
wasfitforslaughter.Subsection(2)ofSection6readsthus:
6(2).
Nocertificateshallbegrantedundersub
section (1), if in the opinion of the competent
authority,
(a)

thescheduledanimal,whethermaleorfemale,
is or likely to become economical for the

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(b)

thescheduledanimal,ifmale,isorislikelyto
becomeeconomicalforthepurposeofbreeding;

(c)

thescheduledanimal,iffemale,isorislikelyto
become economical for the purpose of giving
milkorbearingoffspring.

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110.

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purposeofdraughtoranykindofagricultural
operations;

By the Amendment Act, bulls and bullocks have been

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deletedfromthescheduleandnowacompletebanontheirslaughter
has been imposed. The ban imposed by Section 5 is essentially

challengedonthegroundofviolationoffundamentalrightofbutchers
under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and breach of

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fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 25. There is also a


challengeonthegroundofviolationofArticle29.Thereisachallenge
insomeofthePetitionsonthebasisofviolationofArticle21.But,none

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ofthePetitionershaveseriouslypressedthechallengebasedonArticle
21.Section5doesnottakeawaytheright,ifanyofanyindividual,of
eatingmeatofcow,bullorbullock.Thesaidprohibitioncomesbyway
ofSection5Dwhichwillbedealtwithseparately.So,essentiallythe
challengetothe amendedportionofSection5willhavetobedealt
with onthebasisofthe allegationsofviolationofArticle19(1)(g),
Article25andArticle29.WemustnotethatthedecisionoftheApex
Court in the case of State of Gujarat v. Mirzapur dealt with the
challenge to similar Gujarat enactment, basically on the ground of
infringementofrightsofbutchersandtradersinmeatunder Article

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19(1)(g)andArticle14oftheConstitutionofIndia.However,theApex

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CourthasobservedthattheissueofviolationofArticle25hasnotbeen

111.

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dealtwith.

After the amendment to Section 5 of the Animal

PreservationAct,Butcherscancontinuetoslaughterotheranimalsand

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traderscancontinuetotradeinmeatoftheotheranimals.Thus,what
isdonebytheimpugnedamendmenttoSection5isarestrictionand
not prohibition. Hence, the question is whether the restriction is

reasonableintermsofArticle19(6).

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112.WehaveextensivelyreferredtothedecisionoftheApex
CourtinthecaseofStateofGujaratv.MirzapurMotiKureshiKassab

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Jamat.Inthesaiddecision,theConstitutionBenchoftheApexCourt
hasquotedthedecisioninthecaseof Pathummav.StateofKerala
withapproval. InParagraph39,theConstitutionBenchoftheApex
CourthasanalysedthedecisioninthecaseofPathummaandthesame
hasbeensummarized.Summaryofthesaiddecisionreadsthus:

(1)Thecourtsinterprettheconstitutionalprovisions
againstthesocialsettingofthecountrysoasto
show a complete consciousness and deep
awarenessofthegrowingrequirementsofsociety,
the increasing needs of the nation, the burning
problemsofthedayandthecomplexissuesfacing
the people, which the legislature, in its wisdom,
throughbeneficiallegislation,seekstosolve.The
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judicialapproachshouldbedynamicratherthan
static, pragmatic and not pedantic and elastic
rather than rigid. This Court while acting as a
sentinel on thequi viveto protect fundamental
rights guaranteed to the citizens of the country
must try to strike a just balance between the
fundamental rights and the larger and broader
interests of societyso that when such a right
clasheswithalargerinterestofthecountryitmust
yieldtothelatter.
(para5)

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(2) The legislature is in the best position to


understand and appreciate the needs of the
people as enjoined in the Constitution. The
Courtwillinterfereinthisprocessonly when
the statute is clearly violative of the right
conferredonacitizenunderPartIIIorwhen
theActisbeyondthelegislativecompetenceof
thelegislature.Thecourtshaverecognisedthat
thereisalwaysapresumptioninfavourofthe
constitutionalityofthestatutesandtheonusto
prove its invalidity lies on the party which
assailsit.
(para6)
(3) The right conferred by Article 19(1)(f) is
conditioned by the various factors mentioned in
clause(5).
(para8)
(4) The following tests have been laid down as
guidelines to indicate in what particular
circumstances a restriction can be regarded as
reasonable:
(a) Injudgingthereasonablenessoftherestriction
the court has to bear in mind the directive
principlesofStatepolicy.
(para8)
(b)Therestrictionsmustnotbearbitraryorof
anexcessivenaturesoastogobeyondthe
requirements of the interests of the

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general public. The legislature must take


intelligent care and deliberation in
choosing the course which is dictatedby
reasonandgoodconsciencesoastostrike
ajustbalancebetweenthefreedominthe
articleandthesocialcontrolpermittedby
therestrictionsunderthearticle.
(para14)

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(c) No abstract or general pattern or fixed


principlecanbelaiddownsoastobeof
universalapplication.Itwillhavetovary
fromcasetocaseandhavingregardtothe
changingconditions,valuesofhumanlife,
social philosophy of the Constitution,
prevailingconditionsandthesurrounding
circumstancesallofwhichmustenterinto
thejudicialverdict.
(para15)

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(d) The Court is to examine the nature and


extent, the purport and content of the
right,thenatureoftheevilsoughttobe
remediedbythestatute,theratioofharm
caused to the citizen and the benefit
conferredonthepersonorthecommunity
forwhosebenefitthelegislationispassed.
(para18)
(e) There must be a direct and proximate
nexusorareasonableconnectionbetween
the restriction imposed and the object
whichissoughttobeachieved.
(para20)
(f) Theneedsoftheprevailingsocialvaluesmust
be satisfied by the restrictions meant to
protectsocialwelfare.
(para22)
(g) Therestrictionhastobeviewednotonly
fromthepointofviewofthecitizenbut
theproblembeforethelegislatureandthe
objectwhichissoughttobeachievedby

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thestatute.Inotherwords,theCourtmust
see whether the social control envisaged
byArticle19(1)isbeingeffectuatedbythe
restrictions imposed on the fundamental
right.However important the right of a
citizenoranindividual maybeit hasto
yieldtothelargerinterestsofthecountry
orthecommunity.
(para24)

Wehavealreadyreferredtotheconclusionsdrawnbythe

113.

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(h) The Court is entitled to take into


consideration matters of common report,
historyofthetimesandmattersofcommon
knowledgeandthecircumstancesexistingat
thetimeofthelegislationforthispurpose.
(emphasisadded)

ApexCourtdealingwithsixissuesinthecaseoftheStateofGujaratvs

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Mirzapur. TheApexCourthasheldthattheCourtwouldbeginwith
thepresumptionregardingreasonabilityofrestrictions.Thefactsstated

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inthepreambleandtheStatementofObjectsandReasonsappendedto
anylegislationareevidenceofthelegislativejudgment.Theyindicate
the thought process of the elected representatives of the people and
their cognizance of the prevalent state of affairs, impelling them to
enact the law. These, therefore, constitute important factors which
amongstotherswillbetakenintoconsiderationbythecourtinjudging
thereasonablenessofanyrestrictionimposedonthefundamentalrights
oftheindividuals. Hence,itwillbenecessarytoreproducetheObjects
and Reasons of the impugned Amendment Act. Clauses 1, 2 and 3
thereofreadthus:

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The economy of the State of Maharashtra is


still predominantly agricultural. In the
agricultural sector, use of cattle for milch,
draught, breeding or agricultural purposes
always has great importance. It has,
therefore, become necessary to emphasis
preservation and protection of agricultural
animals like bulls and bullocks. With the
growingadoptionofnonconventionalenergy
sources like biogas plants, even waste
material have come to assume considerable
value. Afterthecattleceasetobeusefulfor
thepurposeofbreedingoraretoooldtodo
work,theystillcontinuetogivedungforfuel,
manure and biogas and, therefore, they
cannot,atanytime,besaidtobeuseless.Itis
well accepted that the backbone of Indian
agriculture is, in a manner of speaking, the
cowandherprogenyandtheyhave,ontheir
back, the whole structure of the Indian
agricultureanditseconomicsystem.

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2.

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1. TheMaharashtraAnimalPreservationAct,1976
(Mah.IXof1977),hasbeenbroughtintoforcein
the State from the 15th April 1978. The Act
totally prohibits in any place in the State,
slaughterofcowswhichalsoincludeheiferand
male or female calf of cow and provides for
preservationofcertainotheranimalsspecifiedin
the Schedule to the Act, like bulls, bullocks,
femalebuffaloesandbuffalocalves.Section6of
the Act empowers the persons appointed as
competent authority under this Act to issue
certificateforslaughterofthescheduledanimals,
butsuchcertificateisnottobegrantedifinthe
opinionofthatcompetentauthoritytheanimalis
or is likely to become useful for draught,
agriculturaloperations,breeding,givingmilkor
bearingoffspring.

3.

In order to achieve the above objective and


alsotoensureeffectiveimplementationofthe
policyofStateGovernmenttowardssecuring
thedirectiveprincipleslaiddowninarticle48

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of the Constitution of India and in larger


public interest, itisconsideredexpedient by
the Government of Maharashtra to impose
total prohibition on slaughter of also the
progeny of cow. Certain other provisions
whichitisfeltbytheGovernmentwouldhelp
ineffectingtheimplementationofsuchtotal
ban are also being incorporated such as
provision for prohibition on the transport,
export,saleorpurchaseoftheabovecategory
of cattle for slaughter, in regard to entry,
search and seizureof the placeandvehicles
where there is a suspicion of such offences
beingcommitted,provisionplacingtheburden
of proof on the accused, provision regarding
custody of the seized cattle, pending trial with
theGoshalaorPanjarapoleorsuchotherAnimal
WelfareOrganisationswhicharewillingtoaccept
such custody and the provision relating to
liabilityforthepaymentofmaintenanceofsuch
seizedcattlefortheperiodtheyremainedinthe
custody of any of such charitable organisations
by the accused. It is also being provided for
enhancement of penalty of imprisonment for
certain kind of offences under section 9 of the
Actfromsixmonthstofiveyearsandoffineof
onethousandrupeestotenthousandrupeesand
withaviewtocurbthetendencytowardssuch
offencesalsomakingsuchoffencesnonbailable
soastoserveasdeterrent.
(emphasisadded)

114.

InthepreambleoftheAnimalPreservationActbeforeits

amendment, it is stated that the Act has been made to provide for
prohibition of slaughter of cows and for the preservation of certain
other animals suitable for milch, breeding, draught or agricultural
purposes. Clause 1 of the Statement of Objects and Reasonsof the
Amendment Act refers to Section 6 which empowers the Competent
Authoritytoissueacertificateforslaughterofscheduledanimals. It
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alsoreferstothefactthatsuchcertificateisnottobegrantedifinthe

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opinionofthatCompetentAuthority,theanimalisorislikelytobecome

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usefulfordraughtoragriculturaloperations,breedingorgivingmilkor
bearingoffspring.Clause2providesthattheeconomyoftheStateof
Maharashtraisstillpredominantlyagricultural.Itisstatedthatinthe
agricultural use of cattle for milch,draught,breeding or agricultural

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purposeshasagreatdealofimportance.Italsoreferstothegrowing
adoption of nonconventional energy sources like biogas plants and
evenwastematerial. Therefore, Clause2recitesthatafterthecattle

ceasetobeusefulforthepurposesofbreedingoristoooldtodowork,
it still continues to give dung for fuel, manure and biogas and,

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therefore,theycannotatanytimebesaidtobeuseless. Itisfurther
statedthatitiswellacceptedthatthebackboneofIndianagricultureis

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inamannerofspeakingthecoworherprogeny.Clause3recordsthat
withaviewtoachievetheaboveobjectandalsotoensureeffective
implementationofthepolicyoftheStateGovernmenttowardssecuring
thedirectiveprincipleslaiddowninArticle48oftheConstitutionof
India and in larger public interest, it is considered expedient by the
GovernmentofMaharashtratoimposetotalprohibitiononslaughterof
the progeny of cow as well. It is provided that for effective
implementation of such total ban, it is necessary to provide for
prohibitiononthetransport,export,saleorpurchaseofthecategoryof
cattle,theslaughterofwhichisproposedtobebanned. Itisfurther

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providedthatforeffectiveimplementationoftheban,thereisaneedto

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provideforentry,searchandseizureoftheplaceandvehicleswhere

placingtheburdenofproofonaccused.

115.

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thereisasuspicionofsuchoffencesbeingcommittedandaprovisionof

Thus,thelegislaturefeltthatitisnecessarytopreserveand

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protectagriculturalanimalslikebullsandbullocks.Evenafterbullsor
bullocksceasetobeusefulforthepurposesofbreedingorevenafter
bullsorbullocksbecometoooldtodowork,itisstatedthatsuchbulls

orbullocksstillcontinuetogivedungforfuel,manureandbiogas,and

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therefore,theycannotbesaidtobeuseless.

116.

ThestatementofObjectsandReasonsoftheAmendment

incorporatedinPartIVoftheConstitutionofIndiawhichreadsthus:

48. Organisation of agriculture and animal


husbandry. The State shall endeavour to organise
agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and
scientificlinesandshall,inparticular,takestepsfor
preservingandimprovingthebreeds,andprohibiting
theslaughterofcowsandcalvesandothermilch
anddraughtcattle.

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Act relies upon Article 48 of the Constitution of India which is

(emphasisadded)
117.

ThesecondpartofArticle48enjoinstheStatetoprohibit

theslaughterofcowsandcalvesandothermilchanddraughtcattle.
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Article 48A is also relevant which is again a part of the directive

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principlesoftheStatepolicy. Article48AoftheConstitutionofIndia

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readsthus:

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48A. Protection and improvement of environment


andsafeguardingofforestsandwildlife.TheState
shall endeavour to protect and improve the
environmentandtosafeguardtheforestsandwildlife
ofthecountry.

Clause(g)ofArticle51AoftheConstitutionreadsthus:

51A. Fundamental duties.It shall be the duty of

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everycitizenofIndia
***

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(g) toprotectandimprovethenaturalenvironment
including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to
havecompassionforlivingcreatures;
Atthisstage,itwillbenecessarytomakeareferenceto

Paragraphs48to52and68ofthedecisionoftheApexCourtinthe
case of State of Gujarat v. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat.
Whatisheldthereincanbesummarizedasunder:

(i)

theexpressionmilchordraughtcattleasemployed
inArticle48oftheConstitutionisadescriptionofa
classificationorspeciesofcattleasdistinctfromcattle

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whichbytheirnaturearenotmilchordraughtand

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thesaidwordsdonotexcludemilchordraughtcattle,

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which on account of age or disability, cease to be

functional for those purposes either temporarily or


permanently. The said words take colour from the
precedingwordscowsorcalves.Aspeciesofcattle

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which is milch or draught for a number of years


duringitsspanoflifeistobeincludedwithinthesaid
expression. On ceasing to be milch or draught it

cannotbepulledoutfromthecategoryofother
milchanddraughtcattlementionedinArticle48.

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Hence,bullsandbullocksonceasingtobemilchor

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draughtcontinuetobecoveredbyArticle48.

(ii) Article48consistsoftwoparts.Thefirstpartenjoins
theStatetoendeavourtoorganiseagriculturaland
animal husbandry and that too on modern and
scientific lines. The emphasis is not only on
organisation but also on modern and scientific
lines. The subject is agricultural and animal
husbandry. India is an agriculturebased economy.
According to the 2001 census, 72.2% of the
populationstilllivesinvillages(seeIndiaVision2020,

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p.99)andsurvivesforitslivelihoodonagriculture,

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animal husbandry and related occupations. The

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secondpartofArticle48enjoinstheState,dehorsthe
generalityofthemandatecontainedinitsfirstpart,to
takesteps,inparticular,forpreservingandimproving
thebreeds,andprohibitingtheslaughter,ofcowsand

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calvesandothermilchanddraughtcattle.

(iii) Cowprogenyexcretaisscientificallyrecognisedas

a source of rich organic manure. It enables the


farmersavoidtheuse ofchemicalsandinorganic

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manure.Thishelpsinimprovingthequalityofthe
earth and the environment. The impugned

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enactment enables the State in its endeavour to


protect and improve the environment within the
meaningofArticle48AoftheConstitution.

(iv) Article 51A(g) employs the expression the natural


environment and includes therein forests, lakes,
rivers and wildlife. While Article 48 provides for
cowsandcalvesandothermilchanddraughtcattle,
Article 51A(g) enjoins it as a fundamental duty of
every citizen to have compassion for living

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creatures, which in its wider fold embraces the

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categoryofcattlespokenofspecificallyinArticle48.

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The State is, in a sense, all the citizens placed


togetherand,therefore,thoughArticle51Adoes
not expressly cast any fundamental duty on the
State, the fact remains that the duty of every

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citizenofIndiais,collectivelyspeaking,thedutyof
theState(seealsoAIIMSStudent'sUnionvs.AIIMS).

(v) Itisthusclearthatfacedwiththequestionoftesting
theconstitutionalvalidityofanystatutoryprovisionor

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anexecutiveact,orfortestingthereasonablenessof
any restriction cast by law on the exercise of any

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fundamental right by way of regulation, control or


prohibition,thedirectiveprinciplesofStatepolicyand
fundamentaldutiesasenshrinedinArticle51Aofthe
Constitution play a significant role. Hence, the
StatementandObjectsandReasonsoftheimpugned
AmendmentActshowsthatthesameenactedtogive
effecttoArticles48,48Aandclause(g)ofArticle51A
oftheConstitution.
(emphasisadded)

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118.

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Inthecaseof Javedv.StateofHaryana,theApexCourt

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heldthatthefundamentalrightscannotbereadinisolationbutalong

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with the directive principles and the fundamental duties enshrined


underArticle51AoftheConstitutionofIndia.

119.

While dealing with the issue of reasonableness of

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restriction imposed by the statute in the case of Sri SriKalimata


Thakuraniv.UnionofIndiaandOthers, inParagraph19,theApex
Courtobservedthus:

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19. Another important factor to consider the


reasonableness of restrictions is if the restrictions
imposedareexcessiveordisproportionatetotheneeds
ofaparticularsituation. Further, ifthe restrictions
areinimplementationofthedirectiveprinciplesof
the Constitution the same would be upheld as
being in public interest because the individual
interestmustyieldtotheinterestofthecommunity
atlarge,foronlythenawelfareStatecanflourish.
(emphasisadded)

120.

In Paragraph 123 of the decision in the case of Akhil

Bharatiya Soshit Karmachanri Sangh v. Union of India, the Apex


Courtheldthus:
123. Because fundamental rights are justiciable and
directive principles are not, it was assumed, in the
beginning, that fundamental rights held a superior
position under the Constitution than the directive
principles,andthatthelatterwereonlyofsecondary
importanceascomparedwiththeFundamentalRights.
That way of thinking is of the past and has become
obsolete. It is now universally recognised that the
difference between the Fundamental rights and
directiveprinciplesliesinthisthatFundamentalrights

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areprimarilyaimedatassuringpoliticalfreedomtothe
citizens by protecting them against excessive State
action while the directive principles are aimed at
securingsocialandeconomicfreedomsbyappropriate
State action.TheFundamental rights are intendedto
fostertheidealofapoliticaldemocracyandtoprevent
theestablishmentofauthoritarianrulebuttheyareof
no value unless they can be enforced by resort to
courts. So they are made justiciable. But, it is also
evident that notwithstanding their great importance,
the directive principles cannot in the very nature of
thingsbeenforcedinacourtoflaw.Itisunimaginable
thatanycourtcancompelalegislaturetomakealaw.If
the court can compel Parliament to make laws then
parliamentarydemocracywouldsoonbereducedtoan
oligarchy of Judges. It is in that sense that the
Constitutionsaysthatthedirectiveprinciplesshallnot
be enforceable by courts. It does not mean that
directive principles are less important than
Fundamentalrightsorthattheyarenotbindingonthe
various organs of the State. Article 37 of the
Constitution emphatically states that directive
principles are nevertheless fundamental in the
governanceofthecountryanditshallbethedutyof
theStatetoapplytheseprinciplesinmakinglaws.It
followsthatitbecomesthedutyofthecourttoapply
thedirectiveprinciplesininterpretingtheConstitution
andthelaws.Thedirectiveprinciplesshouldservethe
courtsasacodeofinterpretation.Fundamentalrights
shouldthusbeinterpretedinthelightofthedirective
principles and the latter should, whenever and
whereverpossible,bereadintotheformer. Everylaw
attacked on the ground of infringement of a
Fundamental Right should, among other
considerations,beexaminedtofindoutifthelaw
does not advance one or other of the directive
principlesorifitisnotindischargeofsomeofthe
undoubtedobligationsoftheState,constitutionalor
otherwise, towards its citizens or sections of its
citizens,flowingoutofthepreamble,thedirective
principlesandotherprovisionsoftheConstitution.

(emphasisadded)

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The Apex Court in the case of State of Gujarat vs

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121.

124

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MirzapurMotiKureshiKassabJamatheldthatthefactsstatedinthe
preamble and the Statements of Objects and Reasons constitute
importantfactorswhichwillhavetobetakenintoconsiderationbythe
Courtwhilejudgingthereasonablenessofanyrestrictionsimposedon

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thefundamentalrights.WhatisstatedintheStatementofObjectsand
ReasonsoftheimpugnedAmendmentActcanbesummarizedasunder:

The economy of the State of Maharashtra is still

(i)

predominantlyagricultural.Intheagriculturalsector,

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use of cattle for milch, draught, breeding or


agriculturalpurposesalwayshasgreatimportance.It

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has, therefore, become necessary to emphasis


preservation and protection of agricultural animals
likebullsandbullocks.

(ii) Afterthecattleceasetobeusefulforthepurposeof
breedingoraretoooldtodowork,theystillcontinue
to give dung for fuel, manure and biogas and,
therefore,theycannot,anyanytime,besaidtobe
useless.

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(iii) ThebackboneofIndianagricultureis,inamannerof

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speaking,thecowandherprogenyandtheyhave,on
their back, the whole structure of the Indian
agricultureanditseconomicsystem.

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(iv) Inordertoachievetheaboveobjectiveandalsoto
ensureeffectiveimplementationofthepolicyofState
Governmenttowardssecuringthedirectiveprinciples

laiddowninarticle48oftheConstitutionofIndia
and in larger public interest, it is considered

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expedient by the Government of Maharashtra to


impose total prohibition on slaughter of also the

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progenyofcow.

122. Wemustnotethat StatementoftheObjectsandReasons


ofGujaratAmendmentActthevalidityofwhichwasupheldby the
Apex Court in the case of Mirzapur, is similar to the one of the
impugnedAmendmentAct.TheStatementoftheObjectsandReasons
ofGujaratAmendmentActreadsthus:
The existing provisions of the Bombay Animal
PreservationAct,1954providesforprohibitionagainst
theslaughterofcow,calfofacow,andthebullsand
bullocks below the age of sixteen years. It is an
establishedfactthatthecowandherprogenysustain

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thehealthofthenationbygivingthemthelifegiving
milkwhichissoessentialan item in ascientifically
balanceddiet.

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The economy of the State of Gujarat is still


predominantlyagricultural.Intheagriculturalsector,
use of animals for milch, draught, breeding or
agricultural purposes has great importance. It has,
therefore,becomenecessarytoemphasispreservation
andprotection of agriculturalanimalslike bullsand
bullocks. With the growing adoption of non
conventional energysourceslike biogas plants, even
waste material has come to assume considerable
value.Afterthecattleceasetobreedoraretoooldto
do work, they still continue to give dung for fuel,
manureandbiogas,andtherefore,theycannotbesaid
tobeuseless.Itiswellestablishedthatthebackbone
ofIndianagricultureis,inamannerofspeaking,the
cow and her progeny and have on their back, the
whole structure of the Indian agriculture and its
economicsystem.Inordertogiveeffecttothepolicy
oftheStatetowardssecuringtheprincipleslaiddown
inArticles47,48andclauses(b)and(c)ofArticle39
oftheConstitution,itwasconsiderednecessaryalsoto
imposetotalprohibitionagainstslaughterofprogeny
ofcow.

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123.

Inthecaseof MirzapurMotiKureshiKassabJamat,in

paragraph81,theApexCourthasanalyzedtheStatementofObjects
andReasonsoftheGujaratAmendmentwhichwasimpugnedbeforeit.
Thesaidparagraphreadsthus:
81.The facts contained in the Preamble and the
Statement of Objects and Reasons in the impugned
enactmenthighlightthefollowingfacts:
(i)

it is established that cow and her progeny


sustainthehealthofthenation;

(ii)

the working bullocks are indispensable for


ouragriculturefortheysupplypowermore

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than any other animal (the activities for


whichthebullocksareusefullyemployedare
alsosetout);
thedungoftheanimalischeaperthanthe
artificial manures and extremely useful of
productionofbiogas;

(iv)

itisestablishedthatthebackboneofIndian
agricultureisthecowandherprogenyand
theyhaveontheirbackthewholestructure
of the Indian agriculture and its economic
system;

(v)

theeconomyoftheStateofGujaratisstill
predominantly agricultural. In the
agriculturalsectoruseofanimalsformilch,
draught, breeding or agricultural purposes
has great importance. Preservation and
protection of agricultural animals like bulls
and bullocks needs emphasis. With the
growing adoption of nonconventional
energysourceslikebiogasplants,evenwaste
materialhavecometoassumeconsiderable
value.Afterthecattleceasetobreedorare
toooldtowork,theystill continue togive
dung for fuel, manure and biogas and,
therefore,theycannotbesaidtobeuseless.
Apartfromthefactthatwehavetoassume
theabovestatedfactsastobecorrect,there
is also voluminous evidence available on
record to support the above said facts. We
proceedtonoticefewsuchdocuments.

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(iii)

124.IfwecomparetheStatementofObjectsandReasonsof
the impugned Amendment Act with the Statement of Objects and
Reasonsof the Gujarat Amendment, both appear tobe similar.The
ApexCourtreliedupontheStatementofObjectsandreasonsofGujarat
Acttoupholdbanonslaughterofbullsandbullocks. TheApexCourt

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also held that what was stated in the Statement of Objects and

125.

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materialplacedonrecord.

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Reasons of the impugned Amendment Act was supported by the

Hence,weturntothematerialplacedonrecordbythe

State Government in the present case. Now we turn to the factual

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details placed on record by the State Government in the affidavits


whichwehaveelaboratelysetoutintheearlierparagraphs. Wemay
summarizewhatisstatedintheaffidavitsandinparticulartheaffidavit

ofShriShashankM.Sathe,theDeputySecretary(AnimalHusbandry
Department)oftheStateGovernmentinthePILNo.76of2015.What

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isstatedintheaffidavitcanbesummarizedasunder:
(a)

Asperthe2012Census,thecattlewhichisnotused

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eitherfordraughtorbreedingwasonly61,439which
was one percent of the total indigenous male
population and less than half percent of the total
cattlepopulation. Thepercentageoftheindigenous
male cattle as per the 2012 Census which was not
used either for draught or breeding was
approximatelyonly1%ofthetotalindigenousmale
populationandlessthanhalfpercentageofthetotal
cattlepopulationintheyear2012. Itis,therefore,
incomprehensiblethatsuchaninsignificantportionof

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(b)

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availablepastureandgrazinglands;

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thetotalcattlepopulationwillcreatepressureonthe

In 1990, there were 2566 veterinary dispensaries


whichnumberincreasedto4856intheyear2015;

In1993,therewere53mobileveterinaryunitswhich

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(c)

numberincreasedto65bytheyear2014;

The average distance for availing veterinary aid

(d)

considerably reduced in the year 19741975 to 16

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kms which got further reduced to 3.91 kms in the

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year20132014;

(e)

The area under fodder crops in the State of


Maharashtra in the year 20102011 was more than
9,01,000Hectaresandtheareaofpermanentpasture
andgrazinglandswas12,45,000Hectares.Inalmost
all villages, there are cow grazing lands (Gairan).
Moreover,thereisasizableproductionoffoodgrains
like bajra, raagi, jowar, etc. The plant residue of
thesecropsisavailableasafodder;

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(f)

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Paragraph5bdealswithvariousschemeswhichare

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availableforsupplyanddistributionoffodderseeds.

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In the year 20142015, under the Rashtriya Krishi


VikasYojana,thefodderseedsof6782MetricTonnes

have been distributed to the farmers in the State.


During the years 20122013 and 20132014, 3706

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silopits have been constructed at farmer's level for


productionofgreenfodder;

Therearemorethat290GoshalasandPanjarpolesin

(g)

the State established for taking care of the cattle

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sheltered with them and there were no reports of

(h)

In the Current Financial Year (20152016), there


were 23 cattle camps established in the
affected/fodderscarcedistrictsofMarathwadawhich

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shortageoffeedandfodderinthesaidInstitutions;

housednearly27,479animals;

(i)

AscomparedtothedevelopedcountrieslikeCanada,
USA, etc, the average land holding in Maharashtra
Stateisverylowandmorethan90%ofthefarmers
are holding the land having area of less than 4

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Hectares. Therefore, most of the farmers cannot

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afforduseoftractorsormechanicaltillersandthey

(j)

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mostlydependonbullockstoploughtheland.

The advantages of ploughing with the help of


bullockshavebeensetoutinParagraph6ofthesaid

(k)

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affidavit;

Thefiguresof1997,2003,2007and2012havebeen

setoutin Paragraph14whichshowthatthecattle
populationintheStateissteadilydecreasing;
Thedungofcowsandprogenyofcowiscollectedby

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(l)

thevillagersandthesameisusedasfuelaswellas

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organicfertilizer.Similarly,urineofthecattleisused
as pesticide after processing with neem leaves.
Hence,the cattle which is not useful for milch or
draught does not cease to be useful to the
agriculturists;

(m) Similarly,organicmanuremaybeavailableatcertain
price but its value is much more. It restores the
fertilityofsoiltowhichnopricecanbeattributed.It
isdevoidoftheseriousadversefeaturesofchemical

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fertilizers which are used as an alternative due to

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shortage of organic manure. Chemical fertilisers

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pollutethesoil,thecrop,thesubsoilwatertable,and

arehugefinancialburdenonthefarmers.Consistent
use of chemical fertilizers has ruined the soil in
Punjab and other parts of the country and has

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rendered the soil infertile. Organic manure


rejuvenates soil, is freely available as a bonus by
productfromcattleatthefarmers'doorstepanddoes

notneedthehugeinfrastructureforproductionand

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distributionofchemicalfertilisers:

(n)

Thedeclineinmalepopulationisclearlyattributable

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tothepolicyofslaughterofcowprogeny.

126. Inthepresentcase,theStateGovernmenthasjustifiedthe
prohibition imposed on slaughter of a cow, bull or bullock by
contendingthatthecowprogenyexcretaisrecognizedasasourceof
rich organic manure which enables the farmers to avoid the use of
chemicalsaswellasinorganicmanurewhichhelpsinimprovingthe
qualityofearthandtheenvironment.Inparagraph50ofitsjudgment
inthecaseofMirzapur,theApexCourthasacceptedthisbyobserving
thatCowprogenyexcretaisscientificallyrecognisedasasourceofrich

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organicmanure.Itenablesthefarmersavoidtheuseofchemicalsand

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inorganicmanure.Thishelpsinimprovingthequalityoftheearthand

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the environment. The impugned enactment enables the State in its


endeavourtoprotectandimprovetheenvironmentwithinthemeaning
ofArticle48AoftheConstitution.Thus,thestandtakenbytheState
Governmentinthepresentmatterthatthedungofbullsandbullocksis

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usedasanorganicmanureisveryrelevantastheuseofsuchmanureis
infurtheranceoftheobjectspecifiedinArticle48AoftheConstitution
ofIndia.ThepreventionofslaughterisforgivingeffecttoArticle48.

ThedutyoftheStateunderArticle48isofpreservingandpreventing
theslaughterofcowsandothermilchanddraughtanimals.Wehave

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alreadynotedthattheApexCourtheldthatonceasingtobemilchor
draught,suchanimalscannotbepulledoutofthe categoryofother

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milchanddraughtanimals.

127.InthecaseofQuareshiI,theApexCourtacceptedthatcow
andherprogenyplayanimportantroleinIndianEconomy.TheApex
Courtobservedthus:
Thediscussionintheforegoingparagraphsclearly
establishes the usefulness of the cow and her
progeny. They sustain the health of the nation by
givingthemthelifegivingmilkwhichissoessential
aniteminascientificallybalanceddiet.Theworking
bullocksareindispensableforouragriculture,forthey
supply power more than any other animal. Good
breedingbullsarenecessarytoimprovethebreedso
that the quality and stamina of future cows and

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InParagraph86ofthedecisioninthecaseof Mirzapur,

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128.

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workingbullocksmayincreaseand theproductionof
foodandmilkmayimproveandbeinabundance.The
dung of the animal is cheaper than the artificial
manures and is extremely useful. In short, the
backboneofIndian agricultureisinamannerof
speaking the cow and her progeny. Indeed Lord
LinlithgowhastrulysaidThecowandtheworking
bullockhaveontheirpatientbackthewholestructure
of Indian agriculture. (Report on the Marketing of
CattleinIndia,p.20.)If,therefore,wearetoattain
sufficiency in the production of food, if we are to
maintainthenation'shealth,theefficiencyandbreed
of our cattle population must be considerably
improved. Toattainthe above objectiveswe must
devote greater attention to the preservation,
protection and improvement of the stock and
organise our agriculture and animal husbandry on
modernandscientificlines.
(emphasisadded)

theApexCourtnotedtheconclusionsoftheStudyGroupappointedby

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GujaratUniversity.Thestudyreportsubmitteditsconclusionsasunder:

"1. Theagedbullocksabove16yearsofagegenerated
0.68horsepowerdraftoutputperbullockwhilethe
prime bullocks generated 0.83 horsepower per
bullockduringcartinghaulingdraftwork.
2. Theagedbullocksworkedsatisfactorilyforthelight
workforcontinuous4hoursduringmorningsession
and total 6 hours per day (morning 3 hours and
afternoon3hours)formediumwork.
3. The physiological responses (Rectal temperature,
RespirationrateandPulserate)andhemoglobinof
aged bullocks were within the normal range and
alsomaintainedtheincrementalrangeduringwork.
However, they exhibited the distress symptoms
earlierascomparedtoprimebullocks.

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4. Seven percent aged bullocks under study were


reluctanttoworkand/orlieddownafter2hoursof
work.

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5. Theagedbullockswereutilizedbythefarmersto
performagriculturaloperations(ploughing,sowing,
harrowing, planking, threshing), transporthauling
of agricultural product, feeds and fodders,
constructionmaterialsanddrinkingwater.

Finally, it proves that majority (93%) of the aged


bullocks above 16 years of age are still useful to
farmerstoperformlightandmediumdraftworks."

129.

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(emphasisadded)
Thus,thestudyshowsthat93%oftheagedbullocksabove

16yearsofagearestillusefultothefarmers.Theargumentbasedon
lackofadequate supplyoffodderwillnotbesufficienttoinvalidate

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Section5.Thereismaterialplacedonrecordtoshowthatthebullsand
bullocks,aftertheyceasetobedraughtanimals,continuetobeuseful
inmanywaysforagricultureandfarmers.Thedungcanbeusedfor

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multiplepurposes.Allthishastobeappreciatedinthelightofthefact
thateconomyoftheStateispredominantlyagricultural.

130.InParagraph132ofthedecisioninthecaseof Stateof
Gujarat v. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat, the Apex Court
rejected the argument that the poor will suffer only because of the
prohibitionofslaughterofcowprogeny.Ultimatelyinparagraph137,
theApexCourthasobservedthus:
137. ..TheLegislaturehascorrectlyappreciated
theneedsofitsownpeopleandrecordedthesamein
the Preamble of the impugned enactment and the

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StatementofObjectsandReasonsappendedtoit.In
thelightofthematerialavailableinabundancebefore
us, there is no escape from the conclusion that the
protectionconferredbyimpugnedenactmentoncow
progenyisneededintheinterestofNation'seconomy.
Merelybecauseitmaycause'inconvenience'orsome
'dislocation'tothebutchers,restrictionimposedbythe
impugned enactment does not cease to be in the
interestofthegeneralpublic.Theformermustyieldto
thelatter.

The legislatureisthebestjudge of whatisgoodforthe

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131.

community. The legislative wisdom cannot be doubted only because


someotherviewispossible.TheamendmenttoSection5isforgiving

effecttoArticle48withtheobjectofsustainingtheeconomyofthe
Statewhichispredominantlyagricultural.Effectissoughttobegiven

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toArticle48bybanningslaughterofcow,bullorbullock.Inourview,
apart from the conclusions recorded by the Apex Court on the

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usefulnessoftheprogenyofcowevenafteritceasestobeamilchor
draughtanimal,theStateofMaharashtrahasplacedonrecordfacts
and data to support what is stated in the Statement of Objects and
Reasons of the Amendment Act. The State has placed on record
materialtosupportthestandthatitisnecessarytopreservecows,bulls
andbullocksandtopreventitsslaughterintheState.Consideringthe
legalandfactualpositionandwhatwehavediscussedabove,wefind
thatthestandoftheStateGovernmentthatprohibitingtheslaughterof
cows,bullsandbullocksisinpublicinterestwillhavetobeaccepted.

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132. ThequestioniswhethertherestrictionimposedbyArticle

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19(1)(g)isunreasonable.Wefindnothingunreasonableaboutthesaid

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restriction.ItisforgivingeffecttoArticle48andClause(g)ofArticle
51AoftheConstitutionofIndia.Therestrictionsarenotarbitraryand
therefore,donotinfringeArticle14.Therefore,thechallengebasedon
violationof Article19(1)(g)totheamendmentmadetoSection5of

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the Animal Preservation Act completely prohibiting the slaughter of


cows,bullsandbullocksiswithoutanymeritandthevalidityofthe

amendmenttoSection5willhavetobeupheld.

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CONSIDERATION OF THE CHALLENGE TO


AMENDMENTTOSECTION5BASEDONVIOLATION
OFARTICLE25OFTHECONSTITUTIONOFINDIA
133.

Now,wedealwiththechallengetotheamendedportionof

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Section5onthebasisofArticle25oftheConstitutionofIndia. The
contentionraisedisthattheslaughterofabullorbullockisanessential
partofMuslimreligion.ItiscontendedthatalargenumberofMuslim
populationispoorandtheycannotaffordtosacrificeonegoatevenon
theoccasionofBakrI'dinsteadsevenpersonscanaffordtosacrificeone
coworaprogenyofcow. RelianceisplacedbythePetitionersonthe
extractsofholyQuranandothermaterialinsupportoftheircontention
thatthesacrificeofacow,bullorbullockisanessentialpartofthe
Muslimreligion.Itiscontendedthattocommemoratetheoutstanding
actofsacrifice(Quarbani)byProphetAbraham,peoplesacrificealamb,

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goat,ram,cow,bull,bullockorcamelonEidulAdha.Itiscontended

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inWritPetitionNo.9209of2015thattheanimalsacrificeiscompulsory

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accordingtoIslamicJurisprudenceanditisobligatoryforeverymature
Muslimtosacrificeacow,goat,lamborabullaccordingtohisfinancial
statustoalmightyGod. Wemustnoteherethatthesaidissueisno
longerresintegra.InthecaseofAshutoshLahiri,athreeJudgeBench

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oftheApexCourtobservedthatitisoptionalforaMuslimtosacrificea
goatforonepersonoracoworacamelforsevenpersons.TheApex
Courtheldthatitis,therefore,notobligatoryforamuslimtosacrificea

8. Theaforesaidrelevantprovisionsclearlyindicate
thelegislativeintentionthathealthycowswhich
are not fit to be slaughtered cannot be
slaughteredatall.ThatisthethrustofSection4
of the Act. In other words there is total ban
against slaughtering of healthy cows and other
animalsmentionedinthescheduleunderSection
2oftheAct.ThisistheveryessenceoftheAct
anditisnecessarytosubservethepurposeofthe
Acti.e.toincreasethesupplyofmilkandavoid
the wastage of animal power necessary for
improvement of agriculture. Keeping in view
these essential features of the Act, we have to
construeSection 12whichdealswith power to
grantexemptionfromtheAct.Aswehavenoted
earlier the said section enables the State
Government by general or special order and
subjecttosuchconditionsasitmaythinkfitto
impose,toexemptfromtheoperationofthisAct
slaughter of any animal for any religious,
medicinalorresearchpurpose.Nowitbecomes
clearthatwhenthereisatotalbanundertheAct
sofarasslaughteringofhealthycowswhichare
notfittobeslaughteredasper Section 4(1)is

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readthus:

coworprogenyofcow. TheParagraphs8and9ofthesaiddecision

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concerned,ifthatbanistobeliftedevenfora
day,ithastobeshownthatsuchliftingofbanis
necessaryforsubservinganyreligious,medicinal
or research purpose. The Constitution Bench
decision of this Court inMohd. Hanif Quareshi
case[AIR1958SC731:1959SCR629]at(SCR)
page650ofthereportspeakingthroughDas,C.J.
referred to the observations in Hamilton's
translation ofHedaya, Book XLIII at page 592
that it is thedutyof every free Mussalman
arrived at the age of maturity, to offer a
sacrificeontheI'dKurban,orfestivalofthe
sacrifice, provided he be then possessed of
Nisab and be not a traveller. The sacrifice
establishedforonepersonisagoatandthat
for seven a cow or a camel. It is, therefore,
optional for a Muslim to sacrifice a goat for
one person or a cow or a camel for seven
persons. It does not appear to be obligatory
thatapersonmustsacrificeacow.Oncethe
religious purpose of Muslims consists of
makingsacrificeofanyanimalwhichshould
be a healthy animal, on BakrI'd, then
slaughtering of cow is not the only way of
carrying out that sacrifice. It is, therefore,
obviouslynotanessentialreligiouspurposebut
anoptionalone.InthisconnectionMrTarkunde
for the appellants submitted that even optional
purpose would be covered by the term any
religiouspurposeasemployedbySection12and
shouldnotbeanessentialreligiouspurpose.We
cannotacceptthisviewforthesimplereasonthat
Section12seekstoliftthebaninconnectionwith
slaughterofsuchanimalsoncertainconditions.
Forliftingthebanitshouldbeshownthatitis
essentialornecessaryforaMuslimtosacrificea
healthy cow on BakrI'd day and if such is the
requirement of religious purpose then it may
enabletheStateinitswisdomtoliftthebanat
leastonBakrI'dday.Butthatisnottheposition.
It is well settled that an exceptional provision
whichseekstoavoidtheoperationofmainthrust
of the Act has to be strictly construed. In this
connectionitisprofitabletorefertothedecisions
ofthisCourtinthecasesUnionofIndiav.Wood
PaperLtd.[(1990)4SCC256:1990SCC(Tax)

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422 : JT (1991) 1 SC 151] andNovopan India


Ltd.v.C.C.E. & Customs[1994 Supp (3) SCC
606 : JT (1994) 6 SC 80] . If any optional
religiouspurposeenablingtheMuslimtosacrifice
a healthy cow on BakrI'd is made the subject
matterofanexemptionunderSection12ofthe
Actthensuchexemptionwouldgetgrantedfora
purposewhichisnotanessentialoneandtothat
extentthe exemption wouldbe treatedtohave
beenlightlyorcursorilygranted.Suchisnotthe
scope and ambit of Section 12. We must,
therefore,holdthatbeforetheStatecanexercise
the exemption power under Section 12 in
connectionwithslaughterofanyhealthyanimal
coveredbytheAct,itmustbeshownthatsuch
exemption is necessary to be granted for
subserving an essential religious, medicinal or
researchpurpose.Ifgrantingofsuchexemption
isnotessentialornecessaryforeffectuatingsuch
apurposenosuchexemptioncanbegrantedso
astobypassthethrustofthemainprovisionsof
the Act. We, therefore, reject the contention of
thelearnedcounselfortheappellantsthateven
foranoptionalreligiouspurposeexemptioncan
be validly granted under Section 12. In this
connection it is also necessary to
considerQuareshicase[AIR1958SC731:1959
SCR629]whichwasheavilyrelieduponbythe
HighCourt.Thetotalbanonslaughterofcows
even on BakrI'd day as imposed by Bihar
Legislature under Bihar Preservation and
ImprovementofAnimalsAct,1955wasattacked
as violative of the fundamental right of the
petitionersunderArticle25oftheConstitution.
RepellingthiscontentiontheConstitutionBench
heldthateventhoughArticle25(1)grantedtoall
persons the freedom to profess, practise and
propagate religion, as slaughter of cows on
BakrI'dwasnotanessentialreligiouspracticefor
Muslims,totalbanoncow'sslaughteronalldays
including BakrI'd daywould not be violative of
Article 25(1). As we have noted earlier the
ConstitutionBenchspeakingthroughDasC.J.,
held that it was optional for the Muslims to
sacrificeacowonbehalfofsevenpersonson
BakrI'dbutitdoesnotappeartobeobligatory

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that a person must sacrifice a cow. It was


further observed by the Constitution Bench
thattheveryfactofanoptionseemedtorun
counter to the notion of an obligatory duty.
Onesubmissionwasalsonotedthataperson
with six other members of his family may
affordtosacrificeacowbutmaynotbeable
toaffordtosacrificesevengoats,anditwas
observedthatinsuchacasetheremaybean
economic compulsion although there was no
religious compulsion. In this connection, Das
C.J. referred to the historical background
regarding cow slaughtering from the times of
Mughal emperors. Mughal Emperor Babur saw
thewisdomofprohibitingtheslaughterofcows
asandbywayofreligioussacrificeanddirected
his son Humayun to follow this. Similarly,
EmperorsAkbar,JehangirandAhmadShah,itis
said,prohibitedcowslaughter.Inthelightofthis
historicalbackgrounditwasheldthattotalban
oncowslaughterdidnotoffendArticle25(1)of
theConstitution.

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9.

In view of this settled legal position it


becomes obvious that if there is no
fundamental right of a Muslim to insist on
slaughter of healthy cow on BakrI'd day, it
cannotbeavalidgroundforexemptionbythe
State under Section 12 which would in turn
enableslaughteringofsuchcowsonBakrI'd.
The contention of learned counsel for the
appellants that Article 25(1) of the
Constitution deals with essential religious
practices while Section 12 of the Act may
coverevenoptionalreligiouspracticesisnot
acceptable.Nosuchmeaningcanbeassignedto
suchanexemptionclausewhichseekstowhittle
downanddilutethemainprovisionoftheAct,
namely,Section4whichistheveryheartofthe
Act.Iftheappellants'contentionisacceptedthen
theStatecanexemptfromtheoperationofthe
Act,theslaughterofhealthycowsevenfornon
essentialreligious,medicinalorresearchpurpose,
aswehavetogivethesamemeaningtothethree
purposes,namely,religious,medicinalorresearch

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purpose,asenvisagedbySection12.Itbecomes
obvious that if for fructifying any medicinal or
researchpurposeitisnotnecessaryoressential
to permit slaughter of healthy cow, then there
would be no occasion for the State to invoke
exemptionpowerunderSection12oftheActfor
suchapurpose.Similarlyithastobeheldthatif
itisnotnecessaryoressentialtopermitslaughter
of a healthy cow for any religious purpose it
wouldbeequallynotopentotheStatetoinvoke
itsexemptionpowerunderSection12forsucha
religiouspurpose.We,therefore,entirelyconcur
withtheviewoftheHighCourtthatslaughtering
of healthy cows on BakrI'd is not essential or
required for religious purpose of Muslimsor in
other words it is not a part of religious
requirement for a Muslim that a cow must be
necessarilysacrificedforearningreligiousmerit
onBakrI'd.
(emphasisadded)

ThisissuewasdealtwithbytheConstitutionBenchofthe

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134.

ApexCourtinthecaseof QuareshiI. Inthesaidcase,thechallenge

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wastothetotal banonslaughterofcowson BakrI'ddayunder the


Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act, 1955. The
challengewasspecificallyonthegroundofviolationoffundamental
rightsguaranteedunderArticle25(1)oftheConstitutionofIndia.The
ConstitutionBenchheldthattheslaughterofcowsonBakrI'dwasnot
anessentialreligiouspracticeforMuslimsand,therefore,atotalbanon
cow's slaughter on the BakrI'd day could not be violative of Article
25(1). Itwasheldthatthereisanoptiongiventosacrificeagoator
bullorabullockoracamel.ThesaiddecisioninthecaseofQuareshi
IhasbeenrelieduponinthedecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof

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AshutoshLahiri.ItiswellsettledthatwhatisprotectedbyArticles25

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and 26 is only such religious practice which forms an essential and

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integralpartofthe religion. Apracticefollowedmaybeareligious


practice.But,ifitisnotanessentialorintegralpartofthereligion,the
sameisnotprotectedbyArticle25oftheConstitutionofIndia.The
alleged economic compulsion will not make the alleged practice an

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essentialpartofthereligion.ItisheldinthecasesofAshutoshLahiri
and QuareshiI that the sacrifice of a cow or its progeny is not an
essentialpartofthemuslimreligion.Hence,violationofArticle25(1)

oftheConstitutionofIndiaisnotatallattracted.

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CONSIDERATION OF CHALLENGE TO SECTION 5


BASEDONARTICLE29OFTHECONSTITUTIOINOF
INDIA

135.

Thenweturntothechallengeonthegroundofviolationof

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Article29.Itisallegedthatthebanonslaughterofbullsandbullocks
isviolativeofthefundamentalrightsofthePetitionerstoconservetheir
culture. The learned Advocate General rightly submitted that no
culture can claim perpetual and inflexible existence beyond the
character of the civilization that created it. He submitted that a
customaryrightcouldnotbeconfusedwiththeculture.Article29is
for preservation of the essential culture of the people and not with
peripheralcustomswhichhavenorelationtoanexistingculture. He
rightly gave an example of the abolition of the practice of Sati or
untouchability whichcanbesaidtobeapartoftraditionalpractice.

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However,theabolition ofsuchtraditionalpractice cannotamountto

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destroyingculture. ThePetitionerswhoareagitatingtheviolationof

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Article29havefailedtoestablishthattheslaughterofcows,bullsor

bullocksisapartoftheessentialcultureofanyreligionorcommunity.
Cultural right cannot be confused with right to religion. Common
threadinArticle29(1)islanguage,scriptandcultureandnotreligion.

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Therefore,theargumentbasedontheviolationofArticle29iswithout
anymerit.

Hence, to conclude, the challenge to the constitutional

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[B]

validityofamendedSection5oftheAnimalPreservationActmustfail.

136.

THEVALIDITYOFSECTIONS5A,5BAND5C
OFTHEANIMALPRESERVATIONACT
SECTION5A

Section 5A is in two Subsections. Subsection (1) of

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Section5Areadsthus:

5A(1)
No person shall transport or offer for
transport or cause to be transported cow, bull or
bullockfromanyplacewithintheStatetoanyplace
outsidetheState forthepurposeofitsslaughterin
contraventionoftheprovisionsofthisActorwiththe
knowledge that it will be or is likely to be, so
slaughtered.
137.

Subsection(1)ofSection5Aincorporatesaprohibitionon

any person transporting or offering to transport or cause to be


transportedacow,bullorbullockfromanyplacewithintheStateto

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any place outside the State for the purposes of its slaughter in

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contraventionoftheprovisionsoftheAnimalPreservationActorwith

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theknowledgethatitwillbeoritislikelytobesoslaughtered. The
banimposedbytheamendmenttoSection5onslaughterofcows,bulls
orbullocksisapplicableonlywithintheStateofMaharashtraasthelaw
ismadebytheStateLegislature. Therefore,thereisnoquestionof

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anyone slaughtering a cow, bull or bullock at any place outside the


StateofMaharashtraincontraventionoftheprovisionsofsection5the
AnimalPreservationActastheprohibitiononslaughterimposedbysaid

ActwillnotapplyoutsidetheState.Ifanyonetransportscow,bullor
bullocktoanyplaceoutsidetheStateandslaughtersitatthatplace,

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suchslaughtercannotbeinbreachoftheAnimalPreservationActas
theStateActcannotanddoesnotdeclareaslaughtermadeoutsidethe

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State as illegal. The legislature of the State has no legislative


competence todothat. Hence,the Section,asworded,makeslittle
practical sense. It may, though cover a hypothetical case of such
transportofanimalsoutsidetheStatesoastoslaughteritwithinthe
State,ofcourse,afteritisbroughtbacktotheStatepossiblybythe
slaughterer himself, the transporter and slaughterer being different
persons.

138. However,theobjectoftheamendmenttoSection5isto
preservecows,bullsorbullocksinsidetheState.Itcanbesaidthatthis

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provisionhasadirectandproximatenexuswiththeobjectsoughttobe

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achievedbymakingamendmenttoSection5forimposingprohibition

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onslaughterofcows,bullsandbullocksintheState.Thisprovisioncan
besaidtohavebeenmadefortheeffectiveimplementationofSection
5.Therefore,subjecttowhatwehaveobservedabove,thereisnomerit

139.

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inthechallengetoSubSection(1)ofSection5A.

Subsection(2)ofSection5Areadsthus:

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(2) Nopersonshallexportorcausetobeexported
outsidetheStateofMaharashtracow,bullorbullock
forthepurposeofslaughtereitherdirectlyorthrough
hisagentorservantoranyotherpersonactingonhis
behalf,incontraventionoftheprovisionsofthisActor
withtheknowledgethatitwillbeorislikelytobe
slaughtered.

Subsection(2)ofSection5Aimposesaprohibitiononany

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person exporting or causing to be exported outside the State of


Maharashtra a cow, bull or bullock for the purposes of its slaughter
either directly or through his agent, or servant or any other person
actingonhisbehalf,incontraventionoftheprovisionsofthisActor
withtheknowledgethatitwillbeorislikelytobesoslaughtered.

140. The conclusions which we have recorded above whilst


dealingwithSubSection(1)ofSection5AwillapplytoSubSection(2)
aswellandthechallengetothevaliditySubSection(2)ofSection5A
mustfail.
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TheSection5Bprovidesthatnopersonshallpurchase,sale

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orotherwisedisposeoforoffertopurchase,sellordisposeofanycow,
bullorbullockforslaughterorknowingorhavingreasontobelievethat
suchcow,bullorbullockshallbeslaughteredincontraventionofthe

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provisionsoftheAct.Thisrestrictionisnaturallyapplicablewithinthe
State of Maharashtra which appears to be in furtherance of the
intentionofthelegislaturetoputacompleteembargoonslaughterof

cows,bullsorbullockswithaviewtoimplementArticle48.TheSub
section5Bhasdirectandproximateconnectionwiththebanimposed

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by Section 5. We have dealt with issue of direct and proximate


connection while dealing with Sections 5C. Section 5B has been

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enactedwithaviewtoensurethatthebanimposedbySection5is
effectivelyimplemented.Hence,thesaidrestrictionisreasonableand
cannotbeunconstitutional.

SECTION5C
142.

Section 5C starts with a nonobstante clause which

providesthatnotwithstandinganythingcontainedinanyotherlawfor
thetimebeinginforce,nopersonshallhaveinhispossessionfleshof
anycow,bullorbullockslaughteredincontraventionoftheprovisions
ofthisAct. Astheprohibitionofslaughterofcow,bullorbullockis

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withintheState,Section5Cwillapplytoapossessionoffleshofany

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cow,bullorbullockslaughteredwithintheState.Againthisprovision

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seemstobeinfurtheranceoftheintentionofthelegislaturetoensure
thatthecows,bullsorbullocksintheStateshouldbepreserved.

143.

The first challenge to the constitutional validity of the

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provisionsofthe Sections 5Cisthatthe possessionofsuchfleshis


made an offence though the possession may not be a conscious
possession,namelywiththeknowledgethatthefleshistheproductof

illegal slaughter of cow, bull or bullock made in contravention of


Section 5. The second ground is that Section 9B introduced by the

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Amendment Act imposes a negative burden in a trial for offences


punishableunderSections9and9Aontheaccusedofprovingthatthe

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slaughter, transport, export outside the State, purchase, sale or


possessionoffleshofcow,bullorbullockwasnotincontraventionof
theprovisionsoftheAnimalPreservationAct.Wemustnoteherethat
thereisachallengeinsomeofthePetitionstotheconstitutionalvalidity
oftheprovisionsofSection9B.Byadetailedfindingrecordedinthis
judgment,weareacceptingthecontentionthatSection9Bsuffersfrom
theviceofunconstitutionalityand,therefore,itisnotnecessarytotest
thechallengetoSections5A,5Band5Conthebasisoftheprovisionsof
theSection9B.

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144.

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AnotherchallengetoSection5Cisonthegroundthatthe

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saidprovisionisnotanancillaryorincidentalprovision. Onaplain

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reading of Section 5C, we disagree with the said submission. The


Section5Cattemptstoputabanonanypersonpossessingfleshofany
cow, bull or bullock slaughtered in contravention of the Animal
Preservation Act. As the provision imposing a complete ban on the

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slaughterofcow,bullorbullockisconstitutional,wedonotseehow
theviceofunconstitutionalityisattractedtotheprovisionwhichseeksa
banonapersonconsciouslypossessingthefleshofcow,bullorbullock

whichisslaughteredinsidetheState. Thesaidprovisionensuresthe
banimposedbySection5isproperlyimplemented.Therefore,itcanbe

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saidthatthesaidprovisionishavingadirectnexustotheprovisionof

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Section5.

145.

On this aspect, we may state that the learned Advocate

General,notwithstandingtheprovisionsofSection9B,statedthatinthe
prosecutionforanoffencepunishableunderSection9or9A,theinitial
burdentoprovethebasicexistenceoffactsconstitutingtheoffenceof
violation of Sections 5A, 5B and 5C will be always on the State. In
short, the offence will be attracted if the possession is a conscious
possession.

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146.

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ThechallengetoSection5Cessentiallybytheownersof

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coldstoragesintheState isbasedonviolationoffundamentalrights

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underArticle19(1)(g)oftheConstitutionofIndia.Thecontentionis
thatSection 5CviolatestheirfundamentalrightsunderArticle19(1)

(g) of the Constitution of India and the restriction imposed is


unreasonable which will not stand to test of Article 19(6) of the

147.

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ConstitutionofIndia.

ThecontentionisthattheburdenisontheStatetojustify

thelawincaseswherethereisanallegationofviolationofArticle19of
theConstitutionofIndia.RelianceisplacedonthedecisionoftheApex

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Courtinthecaseof DeenaaliasDeenDayalandOthers. Asstated


earlier,Section5Cprohibitsanypersonfrompossessingthe fleshof

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anycow,bullorbullockslaughteredincontraventionoftheprovisions
oftheAnimalPreservationAct.Section5Cappliestothefleshofany
cow,bullorbullockwhichisslaughteredinsidetheState.Suchfleshis
aproductofaslaughterofcow,bullorbullockwhichisbannedunder
Section 5. Section 5C puts restrictions on the owners of the cold
storagesofstoringfleshofcow,bullorbullockslaughteredintheState.
Thestorageofothercategoriesofmeatisnotprohibited.Thestorage
ofotheritemsoffoodisnotprohibited.Wehavealreadyacceptedthe
submissionoftheStateGovernmentthatthebanonslaughterofacow,
bullorbullockisinpublicinterest.Ifbanonslaughterofprogenyof

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148.

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imposedbySection5Cisinpublicinterest.

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cow is held to be in public interest, it follows that even restriction

Thereisanotherargumentcanvassedbytheownersofthe

coldstorages.TheargumentisthatSection5Ccanbemisusedasitis
impossiblefortheownersofcoldstoragestoknowwhetherthemeat

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whichisstoredbytheircustomersintheircoldstoragesistheproduct
oftheillegalslaughterofanimalswhichisprohibitedunderSection5.
Perhaps,thisargumentisinthecontextofnegativeburdenputonthe

accusedinatrialforoffencesunderSections9and9A. Firstly,the
possibilityofalegalprovisionbeingmisusedisnogroundtoholdit

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unconstitutional.Secondly,inthesubsequentpartofthedecision,we
haveheldSection9Btobeanunconstitutional.Anotherargumentis

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thatifthepossessioncontemplatedbySection5Cisnotconstruedas
consciouspossession,apersonwhoisfoundinpossessionoffleshof
cow,bullorbullockwithouttheknowledgeofthefactthatthesameis
thefleshofanimalsslaughteredincontraventionoftheSection5will
beconvictedforanoffencepunishableunderSection5C.

149.

AnotherlimbofargumentisthatifSection5Ccannotbe

struckdown,thewordpossessionwillhavetobereaddowntomean
consciouspossession.Asstatedearlier,thelearnedAdvocateGeneral
onbehalfoftheStatehassubmittedthatinitialburdenwillbeonthe

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prosecution to prove the facts which are necessary to constitute an

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offenceunderSections9and9A. TheburdenwillbeontheStateto

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provethattheaccusedwasinpossessionoffleshofanycow,bullor
bullockillegallyslaughteredwithintheState.IntheabsenceofSection
9B,theprosecutionwillhavetoprovethattheaccusedwhoischarged
forviolationofSection5Cwasfoundinpossessionoffleshofcow,bull

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orbullockslaughteredwithintheStatewiththeknowledgethatitisa
fleshofcow,bullorbullocksoslaughtered. Onthisaspect,itwillbe
necessarytomakeareferencetowhatisheldbytheApexCourtinits

decisioninthecaseof People'sUnionforCivilLiberties(PUCL)v.
UnionofIndiaandAnother.TheApexCourtwasdealingwithSection

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4ofthePreventionofTerrorismAct,2002.Section4readthus:

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4.Possessionofcertainunauthorizedarms,etc.
Where any person is in unauthorized possession of
any,
(a)armsorammunitionspecifiedincolumns(2)and
(3)ofCategoryIorCategoryIII(a)ofScheduleIto
theArmsRules,1962,inanotifiedarea,
(b) bombs, dynamite or hazardous explosive
substances or other lethal weapons capable of mass
destruction or biological or chemical substances of
warfareinanyarea,whethernotifiedornot,
he shall be guilty of terrorist act notwithstanding
anythingcontainedinanyotherlawforthetimebeing
inforce,andbepunishablewithimprisonmentfora
term which may extend to imprisonment for life or
withfinewhichmayextendtorupeestenlakhorwith
both.
Explanation.In this section notified area means
such area as the State Government may, by
notificationintheOfficialGazette,specify.

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WhiledealingwiththeoffenceunderSection4,inparagraphs26and

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27ofthedecisioninthecaseofPeople'sUnionforCivilLibertiesand
Anotherv.UnionofIndia,theApexCourthasheldthus:

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26. Section4providesforpunishingapersonwhois
in unauthorised possession of arms or other
weapons. Thepetitionersarguedthatsincethe
knowledge element is absent the provision is
bad in law. Asimilar issue wasraised beforea
ConstitutionBenchofthisCourtin SanjayDuttv.
State (II) (1994) 5 SCC 410 : 1994 SCC (Cri)
1433].HerethisCourtinpara19observedthat:
(SCCp.430)
Even thoughthe wordpossessionisnot
precededbyanyadjectivelikeknowingly,
yetitiscommongroundthatinthecontext
thewordpossessionmustmeanpossession
withtherequisitementalelement,thatis,
consciouspossessionandnotmerecustody
withouttheawarenessofthenatureofsuch
possession. There is a mental element in
theconceptofpossession.Accordingly,the
ingredientofpossessioninSection5ofthe
TADAActmeansconsciouspossession.This
is how the ingredient of possession in
similar context of a statutory offence
importingstrictliabilityonaccountofmere
possession of an unauthorised substance
hasbeenunderstood.

27. ThefindingofthisCourtsquarelytotheeffect
thatthereexistsamentalelementintheword
possession itself answers the petitioners'
argument. The learned Attorney General also
maintains the stand that Section 4 presupposes
consciouspossession.Anotheraspectpointedout
by the petitioners is about the unauthorised
possessionofarmsandarguedthatunauthorised

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possession could even happen, for example, by


nonrenewaloflicenceetc.InthelightofSanjay
Dutt case[(1994) 5 SCC 410 : 1994 SCC (Cri)
1433] this section presupposes knowledge of
terroristactforpossession.Thereisnoquestionof
innocentpersonsgettingpunished.Therefore,we
holdthatthereisnoinfirmityinSection4.
(emphasisadded)
150.

Thus,eveninacaseofalegislationwhichmakesunlawful

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possessionofarmsandammunitionanoffence,theApexCourtreadthe
possession as a conscious possession and not merely a custody. The
meaningofthewordconsciousisawarenessofafact.Itisastateof

mindwhichisdeliberate. Section5Cmakespossessionoffleshasan
offence.MentalelementisalsoapartofpossessionunderSection5C.

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TheknowledgeelementiscertainlyapartofpossessioninSection5C.
ThelawlaiddownbytheApexCourtwillapplytoSection5Caswell.

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Tothatextent,thePetitionersarerightincontendingthatconscious
possessionwillhavetobereadintoSection5C.Ifthepossessionunder
Section5Cisnottreatedasaconsciouspossessionandistreatedas
mere custody, there is every possibility of an innocent person being
convictedforanoffencepunishableunderSection9A.

151.

Thenextlimbofargumentinsupportofthechallengeto

Sections5Ato5CisbasedonArticle301readwithArticle304B.The
contentionisthattheprohibitionimposedbytheSectionshasadirect
andimmediateeffectonthetrade,commerceandintercourseoffleshof

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cows,bullsorbullocksamongstates.Articles301providesthattrade,

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commerce and intercourse throughout the territory of India shall be

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free.Itisnotafundamentalrightbutisanordinaryrightconferredby
theConstitutionofIndia.Article301isspecificallysubjecttotheother
provisions of the Constitution. Moreover, Article 304B permits

imposition of reasonable restrictions. We have held that the ban on

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slaughterofcowanditsprogenyintheStateisvalid. Thebanon
possessionoffleshofcows,bullsorbullocksillegallyslaughteredinthe
Statehasadirectcorrelationornexuswiththeprohibitionimposedby

Section5.Therefore,assumingthattheprovisionsoftheAmendedAct
violaterightsconferredbyArticle301oftheConstitutionofIndia,the

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restriction imposed is reasonable as this Court has held that the

(C)

VALIDITY OF SECTION 5D OF ANIMAL


PRESEVATIONACT

Section5Dwhichreadsthus:

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prohibitionofslaughterofcows,bullsorbullocksisinpublicinterest.

5D. Nopersonshallhaveinhispossessionfleshof
anycow,bullorbullockslaughteredoutsidetheState
ofMaharashtra.
152.

The effect of Section 5D is that there is a complete

prohibitiononpossessingfleshofcow,bullorbullockeventhoughthe
fleshisofcow,bullorbullockwhichisslaughteredoutsidetheStateof
Maharashtra.TheeffectofthesaidSection5Disthatifacow,bullor
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bullockisslaughteredinanotherStateorinaforeigncountrywhere

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thereisnorestrictiononslaughterofcow,bullorbullock,eventhen

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possessionoffleshofsuchcow,bullorbullockisprohibitedintheState.

NotonlythatitspossessionisprohibitedintheState,butthepossession
ismadeanoffencebyvirtueoftheAmendmentAct.Themainchallenge
to the constitutional validity of the Section 5D is on the basis of

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infringementofrightofthePetitionersguaranteedbytheArticle21of
theConstitutionofIndia.

ThecontentioninsupportofthechallengetoSection5Dis

153.

that it constitutes a clear infringement of the Petitioners right to

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privacy (whichincludes the right toeat food of oneschoice) The


question before this Court is whether the right to privacy is a

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fundamentalrightguaranteedunderArticle21oftheConstitutionof
India.Iftheanswertothesaidquestionisinthenegative,thequestion
willbewhetherSection5Dinfringesthesaidfundamentalright.
WHETHER RIGHT OF PRIVACY IS A PART OF
PERSONALLIBERTYGUANTEEDBYARTICLE21
154.

Thefirstrelevantdecisionwhichneedsconsiderationisin

thecaseofKharakSinghv.StateofU.P.andOthers.Itisadecisionof
the Constitution Bench of the Apex Court consisting of six Hon'ble
Judges.ThemajorityviewinthesaiddecisionisbyAyyangar,Jandthe
minorityviewisbySubbaRao,J.ThechallengebeforetheApexCourt

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was to the constitutional validity of Chapter 22 of the U.P. Police

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Regulations. Chapter 22 included Regulation 236 which defines

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survelliance.Paragraph7ofthesaiddecisionreferstothedefinition
ofsurvellianceinRegulation236whichreadsthus:

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7. The sole question for determination therefore is


whether"surveillance"undertheimpugnedCh.XXof
theU.P.PoliceRegulationsconstitutesaninfringement
ofanyofacitizen'sfundamentalrightsguaranteedby
Part III of the Constitution. The particular Regulation
whichforallpracticalpurposesdefines"surveillance"is
Regulations236whichreads:

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"Without prejudice to the right of Superintendents of


Policetoputintopracticeanylegalmeasures,suchas
shadowingincities,bywhichtheyfindtheycankeepin
touch with suspects in particular localities or special
circumstances, surveillance may for most practical
purposesbedefinedasconsistingofoneormoreofthe
followingmeasures:
(a) Secretpicketingofthehouseorapproachestothe
houseofsuspects;
(b) domiciliaryvisitsatnight;
(c) throughperiodicalinquiriesbyofficersnotbelow
the rank of SubInspector into repute, habits,
associations,income,expensesandoccupation;
(d) the reporting by constables and chaukidars of
movementsandabsencefromhome;
(e) the verification of movements and absences by
meansofinquiryslips;
(f)

thecollectionandrecordonahistorysheetofall
informationbearingonconduct."

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155.

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Asnotedinparagraph9ofthesaiddecision,theargument

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ofthePetitionerwasthat Regulation236infringesthefundamental

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rightsguaranteedunderClause(d)ofArticle19(1)anditalsoinfringes
personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In

Paragraph 13 of the majority view, the Apex Court discussed the


conceptofpersonallibertyunderArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia.

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TheApexCourtobservedthatwhileArticle19(1)dealswithparticular
speciesorattributesofthefreedom,personallibertyunderArticle21
takesinandcomprisestheresidue. TheApexCourtinthemajority

viewheldthatClause(b)ofRegulation236isviolativeofArticle21of
theConstitutionofIndia. Inparagraphs15and16themajorityview

15. It is true that in the decision of the U.S.


SupremeCourtfromwhichwehavemadethese
extracts, the Court had to consider also the
impactofaviolationoftheFourthAmendment
whichreads:

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holdsthus:

Therightofthepeopletobesecurein
theirpersons,houses,papers,andeffects,
against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated; and no
warrants shall issue but upon probable
cause,supportedbyoathoraffirmation,
andparticularlydescribingtheplacetobe
searched,andthepersonsorthingstobe
seized.
and that our Constitution does not in terms
confer any like constitutional guarantee.
Nevertheless,theseextractswouldshowthatan
unauthorisedintrusionintoaperson'shomeand
thedisturbancecausedtohimthereby,isasit

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weretheviolationofacommonlawrightofa
mananultimateessentialoforderedliberty,if
not of the very concept of civilisation. An
EnglishCommonLawmaximassertsthatevery
man'shouse ishiscastleandin Semaynecase
[5Coke91:1SmLC(13thEdn)104atp.
105]wherethiswasapplied,itwasstatedthat
thehouse ofeveryone istohimashiscastle
andfortressaswellasforhisdefenceagainst
injuryandviolenceasfor hisrepose.Weare
notunmindfulofthefactthatSemaynecase[5
Coke91:1SmLC(13thEdn)104atp.105]
was concerned with the law relating to
executions in England, but the passage
extracted has a validity quite apart from the
contextofthe particular decision. Itembodies
an abiding principle which transcends mere
protection of property rights and expounds a
conceptofpersonallibertywhichdoesnotrest
onanyelementoffeudalismoronanytheoryof
freedomwhichhasceasedtobeofvalue.

156.

In our view clause (b) of Regulation 236 is


plainlyviolativeofArticle21andasthereisno
Lawonwhichthesamecouldbejustifiedit
mustbestruckdownasunconstitutional.

InParagraph17,themajorityviewobservesthus:

17. ..Asalreadypointedout,therightofprivacyis
not a guaranteed right under our Constitution and
thereforetheattempttoascertainthemovementsof
an individual which is merely a manner in which
privacy is invaded is not an infringement of a
fundamentalrightguaranteedbyPartIII.

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16.

157.

IntheminorityviewofSubbaRao,J,itwasheldthatunder

theConstitution,thoughrighttoprivacyisnotexpresslydeclaredas
fundamentalright,thesaidrightisessentiallyaningredientofpersonal
liberty.RelevantpartofParagraph28ofthesaiddecisionreadsthus:

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28. NowletusconsiderthescopeofArticle21.The
expression life used in that Article cannot be
confinedonlytothetakingawayoflifei.e.causing
death.InMunnv.Illinois[(1877)94US113],Field,
J.,definedlifeinthefollowingwords:

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Something more than mere animal


existence. The inhibition against its
deprivation extends to all those limbs and
faculties by which life is enjoyed. The
provisionequallyprohibitsthemutilationof
thebodybytheamputationofanarmorleg,
of the putting out of an eye, or the
destructionofanyotherorganofthebody
throughwhichthesoulcommunicateswith
theouterworld.

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Theexpressionlibertyisgivenaverywidemeaning
inAmerica.Ittakesinallthefreedoms.In Bolling v.
Sharpe [ (1954) 347 US 497, 499] , the Supreme
Court of America observed that the said expression
was not confined to mere freedom from bodily
restraintandthatlibertyunderlawextendedtothe
fullrangeofconductwhichtheindividualwasfreeto
pursue,Butthisabsoluterighttolibertywasregulated
toprotectothersocialinterestsbytheStateexercising
itspowersuchaspolicepower,thepowerofeminent
domain,thepoweroftaxationetc.Theproperexercise
ofthepowerwhichiscalledthedueprocessoflawis
controlledbytheSupremeCourtofAmerica.InIndia
the word liberty has been qualified by the word
personal,indicatingtherebythatitisconfinedonly
tothelibertyoftheperson.Theotheraspectsofthe
libertyhavebeenprovidedforinotherArticlesofthe
Constitution.Theconceptofpersonallibertyhasbeen
succinctly explained by Dicey in his book on
Constitutional Law, 9th edn. The learned author
describestheambitofthatrightatpp.20708thus:
The right not to be subjected to
imprisonment, arrest or other physical
coercioninanymannerthatdoesnotadmitof
legaljustification.

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Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of


England,Book1,atp.134observes:

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Personal liberty includes the power to


locomotionofchangingsituation,orremoving
one's person to whatsoever place one's
inclinationmaydirect,withoutimprisonment
orrestraint,unlessbyduecourseoflaw.

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InA.K.Gopalancase[1950SCR88],itisdescribedto
meanlibertyrelatingtoorconcerningthepersonor
body of the individual; and personal liberty in this
senseistheantithesisofphysicalrestraintorcoercion.
Theexpressioniswideenoughtotakeinarighttobe
freefromrestrictionsplacedonhismovements.The
expression coercion in the modern age cannot be
construedinanarrowsense.Inanuncivilizedsociety
wheretherearenoinhibitions,onlyphysicalrestraints
maydetractfrompersonalliberty,butascivilization
advances the psychological restraints are more
effective than physical ones. The scientific methods
used to condition a man's mind are in a real sense
physical restraints, for they engender physical fear
channelling one's actions through anticipated and
expectedgrooves.Soalsothe creationofconditions
which necessarily engender inhibitions and fear
complexes can be described as physical restraints.
Further,therighttopersonallibertytakesinnotonly
a right to be free from restrictions placed on his
movements,butalsofreefromencroachmentsonhis
private life. It is true our Constitution does not
expressly declare a right to privacy as a
fundamentalright,butthesaidrightisanessential
ingredient of personal liberty. Every democratic
countrysanctifiesdomesticlife;itisexpectedtogive
him rest, physical happiness, peace of mind and
security.Inthelastresort,aperson'shouse,wherehe
liveswithhisfamily,ishiscastle;itishisrampart
against encroachment on his personal liberty. The
pregnantwordsofthatfamousJudge,FrankfurterJ.,
inWolfv.Colorado[[1949]238US25]pointingout
theimportanceofthesecurityofone'sprivacyagainst
arbitrary intrusion bythe police,could have noless
applicationtoanIndianhomeastoanAmericanone.
Ifphysicalrestraintsonaperson'smovementsaffect

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158.

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his personal liberty, physical encroachments on his


privatelifewouldaffectitinalargerdegree.Indeed,
nothing is more deleterious to a man's physical
happiness and health than a calculated interference
withhisprivacy.Wewould,therefore,definetheright
of personal liberty in Article 21 as a right of an
individual to be free from restrictions or
encroachments on his person, whether those
restrictionsorencroachmentsaredirectlyimposedor
indirectlybroughtaboutbycalculatedmeasures.Itso
understood, all the acts of surveillance under
Regulation236infringethefundamentalrightofthe
petitionerunderArticle21oftheConstitution.
(emphasisadded)

The second judgment on this aspect is in the case of

Gobindv.StateofMadhyaPradeshandAnother.InParagraphs22to

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24ofthesaiddecision,theApexCourtheldthus:

22. Therecanbenodoubtthatprivacydignityclaims
deservetobeexaminedwithcareandtobedenied
onlywhenanimportantcountervailinginterestis
showntobesuperior.IftheCourtdoesfindthata
claimed right is entitled to protection as a
fundamentalprivacyright,alawinfringingitmust
satisfythecompellingStateinteresttest.Thenthe
questionwouldbewhetheraStateinterestisof
such paramount importance as would justify an
infringement of the right. Obviously, if the
enforcement of morality were held to be a
compellingaswellasapermissibleStateinterest,
the characterization of a claimed right as a
fundamental privacy right would be of far less
significance.Thequestionwhetherenforcementof
moralityisaStateinterestsufficienttojustifythe
infringementofafundamentalprivacyrightneed
notbeconsideredforthepurposeofthiscaseand
therefore we refuse to enter the controversial
thicket whether enforcement of morality is a
functionofState.

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23. Individualautonomy,perhapsthecentralconcern
ofanysystemoflimitedGovernment,isprotected
in part under our Constitution by explicit
constitutionalguarantees.Intheapplicationofthe
Constitutionourcontemplationcannotonlybeof
what has been but what may be. Time works
changesandbringsintoexistencenewconditions.
Subtlerandfarreachingmeansofinvadingprivacy
willmakeitpossibletobeheardinthestreetwhat
is whispered in the closet. Yet, too broad a
definitionofprivacyraisesseriousquestionsabout
theproprietyofjudicialrelianceonarightthatis
notexplicitintheConstitution.Ofcourse,privacy
primarily concerns the individual. It therefore
relatestoandoverlapswiththeconceptofliberty.
Themostseriousadvocateofprivacymustconfess
that there are serious problems of defining the
essenceandscopeoftheright.Privacyinterestin
autonomy must also be placed in the context of
otherrightsandvalues.

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24. Anyrighttoprivacymustencompassandprotect
the personal intimacies of the home, the family,
marriage, motherhood, procreation and child
rearing.Thiscatalogueapproachtothequestionis
obviously not as instructive as it does not give
analyticalpictureofthedistinctivecharacteristics
oftherightofprivacy.Perhaps,theonlysuggestion
that can be offered as unifying principle
underlyingtheconcepthasbeentheassertionthat
a claimed right must be a fundamental right
implicitintheconceptoforderedliberty.

Thereafter,inparagraph28,theApexCourtheldthus:
28. Therighttoprivacyinanyeventwillnecessarily
have to go through a process of casebycase
development.Therefore,evenassumingthattheright
topersonalliberty,therighttomovefreelythroughout
theterritoryofIndiaandthefreedomofspeechcreate
anindependentrightofprivacyasanemanationfrom
them which one can characterize as a fundamental
right, we do not think that the right is absolute.

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159.

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The next decision on this aspect is in the case of R.

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RajagopalaliasR.R.GopalandAnotherv.StateofTamilNaduand

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Others.ThequestionswereframedbytheApexCourtinParagraph8.
TheQuestionNo.1inParagraph8readsthus:

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1. Whether a citizen of this country can prevent


another person from writing his life story or
biography? Does such unauthorized writing infringe
thecitizensrighttoprivacy?Whetherthefreedomof
pressguaranteedbyArticle19(1)(a)entitlesthepress
topublishsuchunauthorizedaccountofacitizenslife
and activities and if so to what extent and in what
circumstances ? What are the remedies open to a
citizenofthiscountryincaseofinfringementofhis
right to privacy and further in case such writing
amountstodefamation?
InParagraph9,theApexCourtconsidereditsdecisionin

the case of Kharak Singh. Thereafter, the Apex Court considered

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variousdecisionsofForeignCourts.InClause(1)ofParagraph26,the
ApexCourtsummarizedtheprinciples.Clause(1)readsthus:

1. Therighttoprivacyisimplicitintherightto
life andliberty guaranteed to the citizens of this
countrybyArticle21.Itisarighttobeletalone.
Acitizenhasarighttosafeguardtheprivacyofhis
own, his family, marriage, procreation,
motherhood, childbearing and education among
othermatters.Nonecanpublishanythingconcerning
the above matters without his consent whether
truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or
critical.Ifhedoesso,hewouldbeviolatingtheright
to privacy of the person concerned and would be
liable in an action for damages. Position may,
however be different, if a person voluntarily thrusts

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himselfintocontroversyorvoluntarilyinvitesorraises
acontroversy.
(emphasisadded)

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Thus, the Apex Court held that the right to privacy is


implicitintherighttolifeandlibertyguaranteedtothecitizensofthis
countrybyArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndiawhichincludesaright

160.

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tobeletalone.

The issue whether a right to privacy is a part of the

fundamentalrightswasagainconsideredbytheApexCourtinthecase

of District Registrar and Collector, Hyderabad and Another v.


CanaraBankandOthers.InParagraph24,theApexCourtobserved

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thatinourConstitution,thereisnospecificprovisionasregardsthe
privacy. Whileinterpretingthedecisioninthecaseof KharakSingh,

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theApexCourtinParagraph36observedthus:

36. TwolatercasesdecidedbytheSupremeCourt
ofIndiawherethefoundationsfortherightwerelaid,
concernedtheintrusionintothehomebythepolice
underStateregulations,bywayofdomiciliaryvisits.
Suchvisitscouldbeconductedanytime,nightorday,
to keep a tab on persons for finding out suspicious
criminalactivity,ifany,ontheirpart.Thevalidityof
these regulations came under challenge. In the first
one,KharakSinghv.StateofU.P[(1964)1SCR332:
(1963)2CriLJ329]the U.P.Regulationsregarding
domiciliary visits were in question and the majority
referredto Munn v. Illinois [94US113:24LEd77
(1877)]andheldthatthoughourConstitutiondidnot
refer tothe righttoprivacyexpressly,still itcan be
tracedfromtherighttolifeinArticle21.According
to the majority, clause 236 of the relevant

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Regulations in U.P., was bad in law; it offended


Article21inasmuchastherewasnolawpermitting
interferencebysuchvisits.Themajoritydidnotgo
intothequestionwhetherthesevisitsviolatedthe
right to privacy. But, Subba Rao, J. while
concurring that the fundamental right to privacy
waspartoftherighttolibertyinArticle21,partof
therighttofreedomofspeechandexpressionin
Article19(1)(a),andalsooftherighttomovement
in Article 19(1)(d), held that the Regulations
permitting surveillance violated the fundamental
rightofprivacy.InthediscussionthelearnedJudge
referredto Wolf v. Colorado [338US25:93LEd
1782 (1949)] . In effect, all the seven learned
Judgesheldthattherighttoprivacywaspartof
therighttolifeinArticle21.
(emphasisadded)

Thereafter,theApexCourtconsideredthedecisioninthe
caseof Gobind. Ultimately,inParagraphs39and40,theApexCourt

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heldthus:

39. Wehavereferredindetailtothereasonsgivenby
Mathew,J.inGobind[(1975)2SCC148:1975
SCC(Cri)468]toshowthat,therighttoprivacy
hasbeenimpliedinArticles19(1)(a)and(d)and
Article21;that,therightisnotabsoluteandthat
any State intrusion can be a reasonable
restriction only if it has reasonable basis or
reasonablematerialstosupportit.
40. AtwoJudgeBenchinR.Rajagopalv.StateofT.N.
[(1994)6SCC632]heldtherightofprivacyto
be implicit in the right to life and liberty
guaranteedtothecitizensofIndiabyArticle21.
Itistherighttobeletalone.Everycitizenhasa
right to safeguard the privacy of his own.
However, in the caseof amatter being partof
publicrecords,includingcourtrecords,theright
of privacy cannot be claimed. The right to
privacy has since been widely accepted as
implied in our Constitution, in other cases,
namely, People's Union for Civil Liberties v.
Union of India [(1997) 1 SCC 301], X v.

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161.

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Hospital Z [(1998) 8 SCC 296], People's


Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of
India[(2003) 4 SCC 399] and Sharda v.
Dharmpal[(2003)4SCC493].
(emphasisadded)

In another decision of the Apex Courtin the caseof Re

RamlilaMaidanIncident,inParagraph318,theApexCourtobserved

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thus:

162.

318. Thus,itisevidentthatrightofprivacyandthe
right to sleep have always been treated to be a
fundamental right like a right to breathe, to eat, to
drink,toblink,etc.
Anotherdecisionontheaspectwhethertherighttoprivacy

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isafundamentalrightguaranteedunderArticle21oftheConstitution
ofIndia,isinthecaseof HinsaVirodhakSanghv.MirzapurMoti

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KureshJamatandOtherswhereinagaintheissueofrightofprivacyas
afundamentalrightarosebeforetheApexCourt.InParagraph27,the
ApexCourtobservedthus:
27. Hadtheimpugnedresolutionsorderedclosureof
municipalslaughterhousesforaconsiderableperiodof
timewemayhaveheldtheimpugnedresolutionstobe
invalidbeinganexcessiverestrictionontherightsof
the butchers of Ahmedabad who practise their
profession of meat selling. After all, butchers are
practising a trade and it is their fundamental right
under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution which is
guaranteedtoallcitizensofIndia.Moreover,itisnota
matter of the proprietor of the butchery shop alone.
Theremaybealsoseveralworkmenthereinwhomay
becomeunemployediftheslaughterhousesareclosed
foraconsiderableperiodoftime,becauseoneofthe
conditionsofthelicencegiventotheshopownersisto

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supplymeatregularlyin the cityof Ahmedabadand


thissupplycomesfromthemunicipalslaughterhouses
ofAhmedabad.Also,alargenumberofpeoplearenon
vegetarian and they cannot be compelled to become
vegetarianforalongperiod. Whatoneeatsisone's
personalaffairanditisapartofhisrighttoprivacy
whichisincludedinArticle21ofourConstitution
as held by several decisions of this Court. In R.
Rajagopal v. StateofT.N.[(1994)6SCC632:AIR
1995SC264](videSCCpara26:AIRpara28)this
Courtheldthattherighttoprivacyisimplicitinthe
righttolifeandlibertyguaranteedbyArticle21.It
isarighttobeletalone.
(emphasisadded)

ThenextjudgmentonthisaspectisinthecaseofNational

Legal Services Authority v. Union of India and Others. The Apex


CourtheldthatArticle21guaranteesprotectionofpersonalautonomy

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ofanindividual.Inparagraphs73and75,theApexCourtheldthus:

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73. Article21oftheConstitutionofIndiareadsas
follows:
21. Protection of life and personal
liberty.Nopersonshallbedeprivedofhis
lifeorpersonallibertyexceptaccordingto
procedureestablishedbylaw.
Article 21 is the heart and soul of the Indian
Constitution, which speaks of the rights to life and
personal liberty. Right to life is one of the basic
fundamental rights and not even the State has the
authoritytoviolateortakeawaythatright.Article21
takesallthoseaspectsoflifewhichgotomakea
person's life meaningful. Article 21 protects the
dignity of human life, one's personal autonomy,
one'srighttoprivacy,etc.Righttodignityhasbeen
recognisedtobeanessentialpartoftherighttolife
and accrues to all persons on account of being

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humans. InFrancis Coralie Mullinv.UT of


Delhi[(1981)1SCC608:1981SCC(Cri)212](SCC
pp.61819,paras7and8),thisCourtheldthatthe
right to dignity forms an essential part of our
constitutional culture whichseekstoensurethe full
development and evolution of persons and includes
expressing oneself in diverse forms, freely moving
about and mixing and commingling with fellow
humanbeings.

(emphasisadded)

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75. Article 21, as already indicated, guarantees


the protection of personal autonomy of an
individual. In Anuj Garg v. Hotel Assn. of India
[(2008) 3 SCC 1] (SCC p. 15, paras 3435), this
Courtheldthatpersonalautonomyincludesboth
the negative right of not to be subject to
interference by others and the positive right of
individuals to make decisions about their life, to
expressthemselvesandtochoosewhichactivities
to take part in. Selfdetermination of gender is an
integralpartofpersonalautonomyandselfexpression
and falls within the realm of personal liberty
guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of
India.
(emphasisadded)

164.

ThelearnedAdvocateGeneralrelieduponanotherorderof

theApexCourtinthecaseof K.S.Puttaswami(retd.)andOthersv.
UnionofIndiawhereintheApexCourtmadeaprimafacieobservation
that the decision of the Constitution Bench in the case of Kharak
SinghhasnotbeencorrectlyreadbysmallerBenchesand,therefore,a
referencehasbeenmadetoalargerBenchtodecidethequestionasto
whether the right of privacy is guaranteed by Article 21 of the
ConstitutionofIndia.TheApexCourtinthesaidorderobservedthat
theviewtakeninseveraljudgmentssubsequenttothedecisioninthe

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caseofKharakSinghisthattherightofprivacyisapartofArticle21

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165.

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oftheConstitutionofIndia.

Anotherdecisionwhichisonthisaspectisinthecaseof

People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India and


Another55Thiswasacaseoftelephonetapping.Theargumentbefore

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the Apex Court was that the right of privacy is a fundamental right
guaranteed under Article 19(1) and Article 21. The Apex Court

consideredthedecisionsinthecasesofKharakSingh,GobindandR.
Rajagopal.InParagraphs11to13,theApexCourtquotedthemajority
andminorityviewsinthecaseofKharakSinghandinParagraph14,it

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wasobservedthus:
14. Article 21 of the Constitution has, therefore,
been interpreted by all the seven learned Judges in
KharakSinghcase[(1964)1SCR332:AIR1963SC
1295](majorityandtheminorityopinions)toinclude
that right to privacy as a part of the right to
protectionoflifeandpersonallibertyguaranteed
underthesaidArticle.
(emphasisadded)

TheultimatefindingoftheApexCourtisinParagraphs17
and18whichreadthus:
17. We have, therefore, no hesitation in holding
thatrighttoprivacyisapartoftherightto
lifeandpersonallibertyenshrinedunder
Article21oftheConstitution.Oncethefacts
in a given case constitute a right to privacy,
55 (1997)1 SCC 301

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Article21isattracted.Thesaidrightcannotbe
curtailed except according to procedure
establishedbylaw.

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18. Therighttoprivacybyitselfhasnotbeen
identifiedundertheConstitution.Asaconceptit
may be too broad and moralistic to define it
judicially. Whether right to privacy can be
claimedorhasbeeninfringedinagiven case
woulddependonthefactsofthesaidcase.But
therighttoholdatelephoneconversationinthe
privacy of one's home or office without
interferencecancertainlybeclaimedasrightto
privacy. Conversations on the telephone are
often of an intimate and confidential character.
Telephoneconversationisapartofmodernman's
life.Itisconsideredsoimportantthatmoreand
more people are carrying mobile telephone
instruments in their pockets. Telephone
conversation is an important facet of a man's
private life. Right to privacy would certainly
includetelephoneconversationintheprivacyof
one's home or office. Telephonetapping would,
thus, infract Article 21 of the Constitution of
Indiaunlessitispermittedundertheprocedure
establishedbylaw.
(emphasisadded)

166.

Withaviewtoanswerthequestionwhethertherightto

privacyisapartofArticle21,theanalysisofthedecisionsoftheApex
Courtwhicharequotedabovewillbenecessary.InthecaseofKharak
Singh,themajorityviewisbyAyyangar,J.InParagraph13,theApex
CourtexaminedtheexpressionpersonallibertyunderArticle21.The
majority judgment observes that Article 19(1) deals with particular
species or attributes of specific freedoms incorporated therein and
Article21comprisestheresidue. TheApexCourtobservedthatthe

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words personal liberty cannot be construed as excluding from its

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purviewaninvasiononthepartofthepoliceofthesanctityofaman's

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homeandanintrusionintohispersonalsecurityandhisrighttosleep
whichisthenormalcomfortandadirenecessityforhumanexistence.
Clause(b)ofRegulation236oftheU.P.PoliceRegulationsprovidedfor
domiciliaryvisitsatnightwhichwasapartofsurveillanceonsuspects.

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ThesaidClause(b)wasdeclaredasplainlyviolativeofArticle21as
observedinParagraph16.Thus,themajorityviewasisapparentfrom
Paragraph13appearstohaveacceptedthatanintrusionintopersonal

securityandrighttosleepwillbeapartofpersonallibertyguaranteed
underArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia.Intrusionintoaperson's

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homewasalsoheldtobeapartofpersonalliberty.Themajorityview

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inparagraph13readsthus:
We have already extracted a passage from the
judgmentofField,J.inMunnv.Illinois[94US113:24
L Ed 77 (1877)] US at p. 142, where the learned
Judge pointed out that life in the 5th and 14th
AmendmentsoftheU.S.Constitutioncorrespondingto
Article 21, means not merely the right to the
continuanceofaperson'sanimalexistence,butaright
tothepossessionofeachofhisorganshisarmsand
legsetc.Wedonotentertainanydoubtthattheword
lifeinArticle21bearsthesamesignification.Isthen
the word personal liberty to be construed as
excludingfromitspurviewaninvasiononthepartof
the police of the sanctity of a man's home and an
intrusion into his personal security and his right to
sleepwhichisthenormalcomfortandadirenecessity
forhumanexistenceevenasananimal?Itmightnot
be inappropriate to refer here to the words of the
preamble to the Constitution that it is designed to
assurethedignityoftheindividualandthereforeof
those cherished human values as the means of

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ensuringhisfulldevelopmentandevolution.Weare
referringtotheseobjectivesoftheframersmerelyto
draw attention to the concepts underlying the
Constitutionwhichwouldpointtosuchvitalwordsas
personal liberty having to be construed in a
reasonable manner and to be attributed that sense
which would promote and achieve those objectives
andbynomeanstostretchthemeaningofthephrase
tosquarewithanypreconceivednotionsordoctrinaire
constitutional theories. Frankfurter, J. observed in
Wolfv.Colorado[338US25:93LEd1782(1949)]:

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The security of one's privacy against arbitrary


intrusionbythepoliceisbasictoafreesociety.
It isthereforeimplicit in theconcept ofordered
libertyandassuchenforceableagainsttheStates
throughtheDueProcessClause.Theknockatthe
door,whetherbydayorbynight,asapreludetoa
search,withoutauthorityoflawbut solelyonthe
authority of the police, did not need the
commentaryofrecenthistorytobecondemnedas
inconsistent with the conception of human rights
enshrined in the history and the basic
constitutional documents of Englishspeaking
peoples.Wehavenohesitationinsayingthatwere
aStateaffirmativelytosanctionsuchpoliceincursion
intoprivacyitwouldruncountertotheguarantyof
theFourteenthAmendment.'
Murphy,J.consideredthatsuchinvasionwasagainst
theveryessenceofaschemeoforderedliberty.
It is true that in the decision of the U.S. Supreme
Courtfromwhichwehave made these extracts,the
Courthadtoconsideralsotheimpactofaviolationof
theFourthAmendmentwhichreads:
Therightofthepeopletobesecureintheir
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonablesearchesandseizures,shallnot
be violated;andnowarrantsshallissue but
upon probable cause, supported by oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the
place to be searched, and the persons or
thingstobeseized.

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andthatourConstitutiondoesnotintermsconferany
like constitutional guarantee. Nevertheless, these
extracts would show that an unauthorised
intrusionintoaperson'shomeandthedisturbance
causedtohimthereby,isasitweretheviolationof
a common law right of a man an ultimate
essential of ordered liberty, if not of the very
concept of civilisation. An English Common Law
maximassertsthateveryman'shouseishiscastle
and inSemaynecase[Semayne's case, (1604) 5 Co
Rep91a],wherethiswasapplied,itwasstated
thatthehouseofeveryoneistohimashiscastle
and fortress as well as for his defence against
injuryandviolenceasforhisrepose. Wearenot
unmindful of the fact thatSemayne case[Semayne's
case,(1604)5CoRep91a]wasconcernedwiththe
lawrelatingtoexecutionsinEngland,butthepassage
extractedhasavalidityquiteapartfromthecontextof
the particular decision. It embodies an abiding
principle which transcends mere protection of
propertyrightsandexpoundsaconceptof personal
liberty which does not rest on any element of
feudalism or on any theory of freedom which has
ceasedtobeofvalue.
In our view clause (b) of Regulation 236 is plainly
violativeofArticle21andasthereisnolawonwhich
thesamecouldbejustifieditmustbestruckdownas
unconstitutional.
(emphasisadded)

167.

WhiledealingwithClauses(c),(d)and(e)ofRegulation

236 of the U.P. Police Regulations, the majority view observes that
Article21hadnorelevanceasfarastheseclausesareconcerned.From
the last sentence in Paragraph 17 which we have quoted earlier, it
appears that the majority view has not specifically considered the
questionwhethertherighttoprivacyisapartofArticle21. Whatis
heldisthatthe rightofprivacyisnota guaranteedrightunderthe

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ConstitutioninPartIII.But,themajorityviewholdsthataninvasionon

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thepartofthepoliceofthesanctityofaman'shomeandanintrusion

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intohispersonalsecurityandhisrighttosleepwhichisthenormal
comfort and a dire necessity for human existence will be an
infringementofpersonallibertyguaranteedunderArticle21.Perhaps,

thatishowinthecaseofDistrictRegistrarandCollector,Hyderabad

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v. Canara Bank in Paragraph 36, the Apex Court observed that in


KharakSinghallJudgesheldthatrightofprivacywasapartofthe

168.

righttolifeinArticle21.

TheminorityviewofSubbaRao,Jholdsthat therightto

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personallibertytakesinnotonlyarighttobefreefromrestrictions
placed on his movements, but also free from encroachments on his

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privatelife. ItobservesthatitistruethatourConstitutiondoesnot
expresslydeclarearighttoprivacyasafundamentalright,butthesaid
rightisanessentialingredientofpersonalliberty.

169.Itwillbenecessarytoconsiderwhatisheldbytheeight
JudgeBenchoftheApexCourtinthecaseof M.P.Sharmav.Satish
Chandra.Wehavecarefullyperusedthesaidjudgment.Thechallenge
inthePetitionsunderArticle32oftheConstitutionofIndiawastothe
search warrants for simultaneous searches at 34 places. From
Paragraph1ofthejudgment,itappearsthatthecontentionraisedwas

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ofviolationofArticles20(3)and19(1)(f).Wefindthattherewasno

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specificcontentionraisedbythePetitionersthatthereisaviolationof

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therightofprivacybeingapartofrightofpersonallibertyconferredby
Article21.

170.

InthecaseofR.Rajagopal,QuestionNo.1wasframedon

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theinfringementofrightofprivacy. InParagraph9,theApexCourt
extensivelyexaminedboththemajorityandminorityviewsinthecase
ofKharakSinghandinParagraph26whichwehavequotedabove,the

ApexCourtheldthattherighttoprivacyisimplicitintherighttolife
andlibertyguaranteedbyArticle21.Infact,theApexCourtheldthat

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itisarighttobe letalone. Inthe case of District Registrarand


Collector,HyderabadandAnotherv.CanaraBankandOthers,the

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ApexCourtspecificallyconsideredthequestionofrightofprivacyqua
thesearchandseizure.InParagraph24,theApexCourtobservedthat
our Constitution does not contain a specific provision either as to
privacyorevenastounreasonablesearch.Thereafter,theApexCourt
inParagraph35referredtothe decisioninthecaseof M.P.Sharma.
Thereafter,inParagraph36,areferencewasmadetothedecisioninthe
case of Kharak Singh. Thereafter,inParagraph39,the ApexCourt
referred to the decision in the case of Gobind and ultimately, in
Paragraph40,theApexCourtheldthattherightofprivacyisimplicitin
therighttolifeandlibertyguaranteedtothecitizensofIndiabyArticle

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21oftheConstitutionofIndia. Itwasheldthatitisarighttobelet

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alone. Inthecaseof ReRamlilaMaindanIncident,theApexCourt

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consideredthescopeofArticle21inthecontextofrightofprivacy.The

Apex Court considered the decisions in the cases of Kharak Singh,


GobindandPeople'sUnionforCivilLiberties.InParagraph312,the
Apex Court held that the right of privacy has been held to be a

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fundamentalrightofthecitizenbeinganintegralpartofArticle21of
theConstitutionofIndia.TheApexCourtobservedthatinexceptional
circumstances, the surveillance in consonance with the statutory

provisionsmaynotviolatethatright.Ultimately,inParagraph318,the
ApexCourtheldthatrightofprivacyandtherighttosleephavealways

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beentreatedtobeafundamentalrightlikearighttobreathe,toeat,to
drink, to blink, etc. In the decision in the case of Hinsa Virodhak

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Sangh v. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamat and Others, the issue of


existenceofrighttoprivacyspecificallyarose. InParagraph27,the
ApexCourtheldthatwhatoneeatsisone'spersonalaffairanditisa
part of his right to privacy which is included in Article 21 of the
ConstitutionofIndia.Itwasheldthatrighttoprivacyisimplicitinthe
righttolifeandlibertyguaranteedbyArticle21anditisarighttobe
letalone.Thereisonemoredecisiononthisaspect.Itisthedecision
inthecaseof RamJethmalaniv.UnionofIndia. TheApexCourt
reiteratedthattherighttoprivacyisanintegralpartoftherighttolife.
Thus, there are series of decisions of the Apex Court which are

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deliveredafterconsideringthedecisionsoftheConstitutionBenchesin

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thecasesofKharakSinghandM.P.Sharmaconsistentlytakingaview

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that the right to privacy is an integral part of the right to personal


libertyunderArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia.

171.ThencomestheorderoftheApexCourtinthecaseofK.S.

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Puttaswamy and Another v. Union of India. The Apex Court was


dealingwiththechallengetotheAdharCardSchemeunderwhichthe
GovernmentofIndiaiscollectingandcompilingboththedemographic

andbiometricdataoftheresidentsofthecountry.Oneofthegrounds
ofattackontheSchemewasagroundbasedonarighttoprivacyby

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contending that it is implied under Article 21 of the Constitution of


India.ThelearnedAttorneyGeneralsubmittedbeforetheApexCourt

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thatthedecisionsoftheApexCourtinthecasesof R.Rajagopal and


People'sUnionforCivilLibertieswerecontrarytothejudgmentsofthe
larger Bench of the Apex Court in the cases of M.P. Sharma and
Kharak Singh. We must note here that the Apex Court did not
specificallyaccepttheargumentofthelearnedAttorneyGeneralaswell
as one of the Respondents that the opinions expressed by various
Benches of the Apex Court after the decisions in the cases of M.P.
Sharma and KharakSingh showthe jurisprudentiallyimpermissible
divergenceofjudicialopinions. InParagraphs12and13,theApex
Courtobservedthus:

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12. Weareoftheopinionthatthecasesonhandraise

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far reaching questions of importance involving


interpretation of the Constitution. What is at
stakeistheamplitudeofthefundamentalrights
including that precious and inalienable right
UnderArticle21.IftheobservationsmadeinM.P.
Sharma(supra)andKharakSingh(supra)areto
bereadliterallyandacceptedasthelawofthis
country,thefundamentalrightsguaranteedunder
the Constitution of India and more particularly
right to liberty Under Article 21 would be
denudedofvigourandvitality.Atthesametime,
wearealsooftheopinionthattheinstitutional
integrity and judicial discipline require that
pronouncement made by larger Benches of this
Courtcannotbeignoredbythe smallerBenches
withoutappropriatelyexplainingthereasonsfor
not followingthepronouncementsmadebysuch
larger Benches. With due respect to all the
learned Judges who rendered the subsequent
judgmentswhere right to privacy is asserted or
referredtotheirLordshipsconcernfortheliberty
ofhumanbeings,weareofthehumbleopinion
that there appears to be certain amount of
apparent unresolved contradiction in the law
declaredbythisCourt.

13. Therefore,inouropiniontogiveaquietustothe
kindofcontroversyraisedinthisbatchofcases
onceforall,itisbetterthattheratiodecidendiof
M.P.Sharma (supra)and KharakSingh (supra)
isscrutinizedandthejurisprudentialcorrectness
ofthesubsequentdecisionsofthisCourtwhere
therighttoprivacyiseitherassertedorreferred
be examined and authoritatively decided by a
Benchofappropriatestrength.

If the Apex Court had accepted the submission that the


viewtakeninthedecisionsinthecasesof R.Rajgopal and People's
UnionforCivilLibertiesarecontrarytothedecisionsoflargerBenches

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inthecaseof KharakSingh and M.P.Sharma, therewasnoneedto

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makeareference.

172.

Tosumup,thefollowingarethecasesinwhichtheApex

Courtupheldtherightofprivacyaspartofpersonallibertyguaranteed

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underArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia.

R.Rajagopalv.StateofTamilNadu;

(b)

DistrictRegistrar&Collectorv.CanaraBank;

(c)

ReRamlilaMaidanIncident;

(d)

PeoplesUnionofCivilLibertiesv.UnionofIndia;
HinsaVirodhakSanghvs.MirzapurMotiKuresh

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(e)

(a)

JamatandOrs;

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(f)

NationalLegalServicesAuthorityv.UnionofIndia

(g)RamJethmalani

173.

Most of the aforesaid decisions are rendered after

considering the decisions in the cases of M.P. Sharma and Kharak


Singh. Inthecaseof AshokSadaranganiandAnotherv.Unionof
India56,inParagraph29heldthus:
29. As was indicated in Harbhajan Singh case
[HarbhajanSingh v. StateofPunjab,(2009)13SCC
608:(2010)1SCC(Cri)1135],thependencyofa
56 (2012)11 SCC 321

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referencetoa largerBench,doesnotmean thatall


other proceedings involving the same issue would
remain stayed till a decision was rendered in the
reference. The reference made in Gian Singh case
[(2010)15SCC118]neednot,therefore,detainus.
TillsuchtimeasthedecisionscitedattheBarare
notmodifiedoralteredinanyway,theycontinue
toholdthefield.
(emphasisadded)

Hence, the aforesaid seven decisions continue to hold the field

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notwithstanding the pending reference. Therefore, in our considered


view,thepositionoflawasitstandstodayandwhichisreflectedfrom

theseriesofbindingdecisionsisthattherightofprivacyis partof
personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of

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India.

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174.

The argument of the Petitioners in support of their

challengetoSection5Disthatitinfringestherightofprivacywhich
includestherighttobeletaloneandtherighttoconsumethefoodof
one'schoiceprovideditisnototherwiseprohibitedbyavalidlaw.In
thesecondaffidavitofShriShashankSathe,theStateGovernmenthas
madeitveryclearthatitisnottheintentionoftheStateGovernmentto
preventthecitizensfromeatingnonvegetarianfood.Itisnotthecase
madeoutbytheStateatthetimeoffinalhearingthatbeefasanitem
offoodiseitherobnoxiousorharmfulanditsconsumptionissoughtto
bepreventedforthatreason.

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175.

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theargumentcanvassedinWritPetitionNo.1314of2015bycontending
thatthePetitionercannotcompeltheStatetosupplythefoodofhis
choice. Infact,thatisnottherightclaimedbythePetitionerinWrit
PetitionNo.1314of2015.Itisnotclaimedthatacitizenhasarightto

176.

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compeltheStatetosupplymeatofcow,bullorbullock.

As far as the choice of eating food of the citizens is

concerned,thecitizensarerequiredtobeletaloneespeciallywhenthe
foodoftheirchoiceisnotinjurioustohealth.Asobservedearlier,even

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arighttosleepisheldasapartofrighttoprivacywhichisguaranteed
underArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndia.InfacttheStatecannot

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control what a citizen does in his house which is his own castle,
providedheisnotdoingsomethingwhichiscontrarytolaw.TheState
cannot make an intrusion into his home and prevent a citizen from
possessingandeatingfoodofhischoice.Acitizenhasarighttoleada
meaningfullifewithinthefourcornersofhishouseaswellasoutside
his house. This intrusion on the personal life of an individual is
prohibitedbytherighttoprivacywhichis partof personalliberty
guaranteed by Article 21. The State cannot prevent a citizen from
possessing and consuming a particular type of food which is not
injurioustohealth(orobnoxious).InthedecisioninthecaseofHinsa

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VirodhakSangh, theApexCourthasspecificallyheldthatwhatone

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eatsisone'spersonalaffairanditisapartofprivacyincludedinArticle

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21oftheConstitutionofIndia.Thus,iftheStatetellsthecitizensnot
toeataparticulartypeoffoodorpreventsthecitizensfrompossessing
and consuming a particular type of food, it will certainly be an
infringementofarighttoprivacyasitviolatestherighttobeletalone.

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Ifaparticularfoodisinjurioustohealthoraparticularfoodisillegally
manufactured,itwillbeacaseofcompellingpublicinterestwhichwill
enabletheStatetodeprivecitizensoftherighttoprivacybyfollowing

the procedure established by law. In the present case, Section 5D


preventsacitizenfrompossessingandfromconsumingfleshofacow,

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bullorbullockevenifitisfleshofacow,bullorbullockslaughteredin
territorieswheresuchslaughterislegal.Hence,Section5Discertainly

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an infringement of right to privacy which is implicit in the personal


libertyguaranteedbyArticle21.

177.

Itwillbenecessaryonthisaspecttomakeareferenceto

thedecisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseofDeenaaliasDeenDayal
andOthersv.UnionofIndiaandOthers.InParagraph17,theApex
Courtheldthus:
17.Thus,thereisafundamentaldistinctionbetween
casesarisingunder Article14andthose which arise
under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution. In a
challengebasedontheviolationofArticles19and
21, the petitioner has undoubtedly to plead that,
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forexample,hisrighttofreespeechandexpression
isviolatedorthatheisdeprivedofhisrighttolife
andpersonalliberty.Butonceheshowsthat,which
reallyisnotapartoftheburdenofproof,itisfor
theStatetojustifytheimpugnedlaworactionby
proving that, for example, the deprivation of the
petitioner'sright to free speech and expression is
savedbyclause(2)ofArticle19sinceitisinthe
natureofareasonablerestrictiononthatrightin
theinterestsofmattersmentionedinclause(2),or
that,thepetitionerhasbeendeprivedofhislifeor
personal liberty according to a just, fair and
reasonableprocedureestablishedbylaw.Incases
arisingunderArticle19,theburdenisneveronthe
petitioner to prove that the restriction is not
reasonable or that the restriction is not in the
interests of matters mentioned in clause (2).
Likewise, in cases arising under Article 21, the
burdenisneveronthepetitionertoprovethatthe
procedureprescribedbylawwhichdepriveshimof
his life or personal liberty is unjust, unfair or
unreasonable.Thatiswhytheratioofcaseswhich
fall under the category of the decision inRam
KrishnaDalmia[RamKrishnaDalmiav.JusticeS.R.
Tendolkar,AIR1958SC538:1959SCR279:1959
SCJ147]mustberestrictedtothosearisingunder
Article14andcannotbeextendedtocasesarising
underArticle19orArticle21oftheConstitution.
(emphasisadded)

178.

InParagraph21,theApexCourtheldthus:
21. TheobservationsmadebyGajendragadkar,J.,in
regardtothepositionarisingunderArticle304(b)are
apposite to cases under Article 21. Article 304(b)
providesthat,notwithstandinganythinginArticle301
orArticle303,thelegislatureofaStatemaybylaw
imposesuchreasonablerestrictionsonthefreedomof
trade, commerce or intercourse with or within that
State as may be required in the public interest.
AccordingtothelearnedJudge,inthecaseofalaw
passed under Article 304(b), the position on the
questionofburdenofproofissomewhatstrongerin
favourofthecitizen,becausetheveryfactthatthelaw
is passed under that article means clearly that it

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(emphasisadded)

Inparagraph22,theApexCourtheldthus:

179.

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purportstorestrictthefreedomoftrade.Byanalogy,
thepositionisalsosomewhatstrongerinfavourof
the petitioners in cases arising under Article 21,
because the very fact that, in defence, a law is
relied upon as prescribing a procedure for
depriving a person of his life or personal liberty
meansclearlythatthelawpurportstodeprivehim
oftheserights.Therefore,assoonasitisshown
thattheActinvadesarightguaranteedbyArticle
21,itisnecessarytoenquirewhethertheStatehas
provedthatthepersonhasbeendeprivedofhislife
or personal liberty according to procedure
establishedbylaw, thatistosay, byaprocedure
whichisjust,fairandreasonable.

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22. Anotherdecisioninthesamecategoryofcases
isMohd.Farukv.StateofMadhyaPradesh[(1969)1
SCC853:AIR1970SC93:(1970)1SCR156]in
which the State Government issued a notification
cancelling the confirmation of the municipal bye
lawsinsofarastheyrelatedtothepermissiontothe
slaughteringofbullsandbullocks.Dealingwiththe
challengeofthepetitionertothenotificationonthe
groundthatitinfringedhisfundamentalrightunder
Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution Shah, J., who
spoke for the Constitution Bench, observed: (SCC
pp.85657,para8)
Whenthevalidityofalawplacingrestrictionupon
theexerciseoffundamentalrightsinArticle19(1)is
challenged,theonusofprovingtothesatisfactionof
theCourtthattherestrictionisreasonabletiesupon
theState....Impositionofrestrictionontheexercise
ofafundamentalrightmaybeintheformofcontrol
or prohibition, but when the exercise of a
fundamental right is prohibited, the burden of
provingthatatotalbanontheexerciseoftheright
alone may ensure the maintenance of the general
publicinterestliesheavilyupontheState.(SCRpp.
16061)

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When,inamatterarisingunderArticle21,the
person aggrieved is found to have been totally
deprived of his personal liberty or is being
deprivedofhisrighttolife,theburdenofproving
that the procedure established by law for such
deprivation is just, fair and reasonable lies
heavilyupontheState.
(emphasisadded)

AgaininParagraph30,theApexCourtreiteratedthatwhen

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violationofArticle21oftheConstitutionofIndiaisalleged,theburden
of proof does not lie on the Petitioner to prove that the procedure
prescribedbythestatutoryprovisionisunjust,unfairandunreasonable.

TheStatemustestablishthattheprocedureprescribedbythestatutory

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provisionisjust,fairandreasonable.

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180. Itwillbenecessarytoconsiderherethedecisionofthe
ConstitutionBenchinthecaseof Mrs.ManekaGandhiv.Unionof
India. In Paragraph 5 of the judgment delivered by Bhagwati, J for
himselfandonbehalfofUntwaliaandS.MurtazaFazalAli,JJ,theApex
CourtreferredtothemajoritydecisioninthecaseofKharakSinghv.
StateofUttarPradeshwhereinitwasobservedthatArticle19(1)deals
withparticularspeciesorattributesofthatfreedom,personallibertyin
Article21takesinandcomprisestheresidue.Theminorityviewinthe
decisionoftheApexCourtinthecaseof KharakSingh wasthatthe
fundamentalrightoflifeandpersonallibertyhasmanyattributesand

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someofthemarefoundinArticle19oftheConstitutionofIndia.The

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ApexCourtobservedinviewofitsdecisioninthecaseofR.C.Cooper

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v.UnionofIndia57thattheminorityviewonthisaspectinthecaseof
KharakSingh willhavetoberecordedascorrectandmajorityview
mustbeheldtohavebeenoverruled.TheApexCourtinParagraph5
observedthattheexpressionpersonallibertyinArticle21isofwidest

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amplitudeanditcoversvarietyofrights.Paragraph7ofthejudgment
deliveredbyBhagwati,Jisrelevantforourconsiderationwhichdeals
withthenatureandrequirementoftheprocedureunderArticle21of

theConstitutionofIndia.WhatisheldbytheApexCourtisthatthe
procedure contemplated by Article 21 must answer the test of

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reasonableness.InParagraph5,theApexCourtheldthus:

5. ItisobviousthatArticle21,thoughcouchedin
negative language, confers the fundamental right to
lifeandpersonalliberty.Sofarastherighttopersonal
libertyisconcerned,itisensuredbyprovidingthatno
one shall be deprived of personal liberty except
according to procedure prescribed by law. The first
questionthatarisesforconsiderationonthelanguage
ofArticle21is:whatisthemeaningandcontentof
the words personal liberty as used in this article?
Thisquestion incidentally came up for discussion in
some of the judgments in A.K. Gopalan v. State of
Madras [AIR1950SC27:1950SCR88:51CriLJ
1383]andtheobservationsmadebyPatanjaliSastri,
J.,Mukherjea,J.,andS.R.Das,J.,seemedtoplacea
narrowinterpretationonthewordspersonalliberty
soastoconfinetheprotectionofArticle21tofreedom
of the person against unlawful detention. But there
was no definite pronouncement made on this point
sincethequestionbeforetheCourtwasnotsomuch

57 AIR 1970 SC 574

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the interpretation of the words personal liberty as


theinterrelationbetweenArticles19and21.Itwasin
Kharak Singhv.State of U.P.[AIR 1963 SC 1295 :
(1964) 1 SCR 332 : (1963) 2 Cri LJ 329] that the
questionastotheproperscopeandmeaningofthe
expression personal liberty came up pointedly for
considerationforthefirsttimebeforethisCourt.The
majorityoftheJudgestooktheviewthatpersonal
libertyisusedinthearticleasacompendioustermto
includewithinitselfallthevarietiesofrightswhichgo
tomakeupthepersonallibertiesofmanotherthan
thosedealtwithintheseveralclausesofArticle19(1).
In other words, while Article 19(1) deals with
particular species or attributes of that freedom,
personallibertyinArticle21takesinandcomprises
theresidue.TheminorityJudges,however,disagreed
with this view taken by the majority and explained
theirpositioninthefollowingwords:Nodoubtthe
expression personal liberty is a comprehensive one
andtherighttomovefreelyisanattributeofpersonal
liberty.Itissaidthatthe freedom tomove freely is
carved out of personal liberty and, therefore, the
expressionpersonallibertyinArticle21excludesthat
attribute.Inourview,thisisnotacorrectapproach.
Bothareindependentfundamentalrights,though
thereisoverlapping.Thereisnoquestionofone
beingcarvedoutofanother.Thefundamentalright
oflifeandpersonallibertyhasmanyattributesand
someofthemarefoundinArticle19.Ifaperson's
fundamentalrightunderArticle21isinfringed,the
Statecanrelyuponalawtosustaintheaction,but
thatcannotbeacompleteanswerunlessthesaid
lawsatisfiesthetestlaiddowninArticle19(2)so
farasthe attributes coveredbyArticle 19(1)are
concerned. Therecanbenodoubtthatinviewof
the decision of this Court inR.C. Cooperv.Union of
India [(1970) 2 SCC 298 : (1971) 1 SCR 512] the
minority view must be regarded as correct and the
majorityviewmustbeheldtohave beenoverruled.
We shall have occasion to analyse and discuss the
decision inR.C. Cooper case[(1970) 2 SCC 298 :
(1971)1SCR512]alittlelaterwhenwedealwiththe
arguments based on infraction of Articles 19(1)(a)
and 19(1)(g), but it is sufficient to state for the
presentthataccordingtothisdecision,whichwasa
decision given by the Full Court, the fundamental

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rights conferred by Part III are not distinct and


mutuallyexclusiverights.Eachfreedomhasdifferent
dimensions and merely because the limits of
interferencewithonefreedomaresatisfied,thelawis
notfreedfromthenecessitytomeetthechallengeof
another guaranteed freedom. The decision inA.K.
Gopalancase[AIR1950SC27:1950SCR88:51Cri
LJ 1383] gave rise to the theory that the freedoms
underArticles19,21,22and31areexclusiveeach
article enacting a code relating to the protection of
distinctrights,butthistheorywasoverturnedinR.C.
Coopercase[(1970)2SCC298:(1971)1SCR512]
where Shah, J., speaking on behalf of the majority
pointedoutthatPartIIIoftheConstitutionweavesa
patternofguaranteesonthetextureofbasichuman
rights.Theguaranteesdelimittheprotectionofthose
rightsin theirallottedfieldstheydonotattemptto
enunciate distinct rights. The conclusion was
summarised in these terms : In our judgment, the
assumption inA.K. Gopalan case[AIR 1950 SC 27 :
1950SCR88:51CriLJ1383]thatcertainarticlesin
theConstitutionexclusivelydealwithspecificmatters
cannotbeacceptedascorrect.ItwasheldinR.C.
Coopercase[(1970)2SCC298:(1971)1SCR512]
and that is clear from the judgment of Shah, J.,
becauseShah,J.,insomanytermsdisapprovedofthe
contrarystatementoflawcontainedintheopinionsof
Kania, C.J., Patanjali Sastri, J., Mahajan, J.,
Mukherjea,J.,andS.R.Das,J.,inA.K.Gopalancase
thatevenwhereapersonis.detainedinaccordance
withtheprocedureprescribedbylaw,asmandatedbe
Article 21, the protection conferred by the various
clausesofArticle19(1)doesnotceasetobeavailable
tohimandthelawauthorisingsuchdetentionhasto
satisfy the test of the applicable freedoms under
Article 19, clause (1). This would clearly show that
Articles19(1)and21arenotmutuallyexclusive,for,
if they were, there would be no question of a law
depriving a person of personal liberty within the
meaningofArticle21havingtomeetthechallengeof
a fundamental right under Article 19(1). Indeed, in
that event, a law of preventive detention which
deprives a person of personal liberty in the
narrowestsense,namely,freedomfromdetentionand
thus falls indisputably within Article 22 would not
requiretobetestedonthetouchstoneofclause(d)of

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Article19(1)andyetitwasheldbyaBenchofseven
JudgesofthisCourtinShambhuNathSarkarv.State
ofWestBengal[(1973)1SCC856:1973SCC(Cri)
618:AIR1973SC1425]thatsuchalawwouldhave
tosatisfytherequirementinteraliaofArticle19(1),
clause (d) and inHaradhan Sahav.State of West
Bengal[(1975) 3 SCC 198 : 1974 SCC (Cri) 816 :
(1975)1SCR778]whichwasadecisiongivenbya
Bench of five Judges, this Court considered the
challenge of clause (d) of Article 19(1) to the
constitutionalvalidityoftheMaintenanceofInternal
Security Act, 1971 and held that that Act did not
violatetheconstitutionalguaranteeembodiedinthat
article.Itisindeeddifficulttoseeonwhatprinciple
wecanrefusetogiveitsplainnaturalmeaningtothe
expressionpersonallibertyasusedinArticle21and
read it in a narrow and restricted sense so as to
excludethoseattributesofpersonallibertywhichare
specificallydealtwithinArticle19.Wedonotthink
thatthiswouldbeacorrectwayofinterpretingthe
provisionsoftheConstitutionconferringfundamental
rights. The attempt of the Court should be to
expand the reach and ambit of the fundamental
rights rather than attenuate their meaning and
contentbyaprocessofjudicialconstruction.The
wavelength for comprehending the scope and
ambit of the fundamental rights has been set by
thisCourtinR.C.Coopercase[(1970)2SCC298:
(1971) 1 SCR 512] and our approach in the
interpretationofthefundamentalrightsmustnow
beintunewiththiswavelength.Wemaypointout
even atthe cost ofrepetitionthatthisCourt has
saidinsomanytermsinR.C.Coopercase[(1970)
2SCC298:(1971)1SCR512]thateachfreedom
has different dimensions and there may be
overlappingbetweendifferentfundamentalrights
andthereforeitisnotavalidargumenttosaythat
theexpressionpersonallibertyinArticle21must
besointerpretedastoavoidoverlappingbetween
that article and Article 19(1). The expression
personal liberty in Article 21 is of the widest
amplitudeanditcoversavarietyofrightswhichgo
toconstitutethepersonallibertyofmanandsome
ofthemhavebeenraisedtothestatusofdistinct
fundamentalrightsandgivenadditionalprotection
underArticle19.Now,ithasbeenheldbythisCourt

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inSatwantSinghcase[AIR1967SC1836:(1967)3
SCR525:(1968)1SCJ178]thatpersonalliberty
withinthe meaningofArticle21includeswithinits
ambit the right to go abroad and consequently no
personcanbedeprivedofthisrightexceptaccording
toprocedureprescribedbylaw.Priortotheenactment
of the Passports Act, 1967, there was no law
regulatingtherightofapersontogoabroadandthat
wasthereasonwhytheorderofthePassportOfficer
refusingtoissuepassporttothepetitionerinSatwant
Singhcase[AIR1967SC1836:(1967)3SCR525:
(1968)1SCJ178]wasstruckdownasinvalid.Itwill
beseenatoncefromthelanguageofArticle21that
theprotectionitsecuresisalimitedone.Itsafeguards
therighttogoabroadagainstexecutiveinterference
whichisnotsupportedbylaw;andlawheremeans
enacted law or state law (videA.K. Gopalan
case[AIR1950SC27:1950SCR88:51CriLJ1383]
).Thus,nopersoncanbedeprivedofhisrighttogo
abroad unless there is a law made by the State
prescribingtheprocedureforsodeprivinghimandthe
deprivationiseffectedstrictlyinaccordancewithsuch
procedure.Itwasforthisreason,inordertocomply
with the requirement of Article 21, that Parliament
enacted the Passports Act, 1967 for regulating the
righttogoabroad.Itisclearfromtheprovisionsof
the Passports Act, 1967 that it lays down the
circumstancesunderwhichapassportmaybeissued
or refused or cancelled or impounded and also
prescribesaprocedurefordoingso,butthequestionis
whetherthatissufficientcompliancewithArticle21.
Istheprescriptionofsomesortofprocedureenough
or must the procedure comply with any particular
requirements? Obviously, the procedure cannot be
arbitrary, unfair or unreasonable. This indeed was
concededbythe learnedAttorneyGeneralwhowith
his usual candour frankly stated that it was not
possible for him to contend that any procedure
howsoever arbitrary, oppressive or unjust may be
prescribed by the law. There was some discussion
inA.K.Gopalancase[AIR1950SC27:1950SCR88:
51 Cri LJ 1383] in regard to the nature of the
procedurerequiredtobeprescribedunderArticle21
andat least three of the learned Judgesout of five
expressed themselves strongly in favour of the view
thattheprocedurecannotbeanyarbitrary,fantasticor

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oppressive procedure. Fazl Ali, J., who was in a


minority,wenttothefarthestlimitinsayingthatthe
proceduremustincludethefouressentialssetoutin
Prof. Willis' book onConstitutional Law,namely,
notice,opportunitytobeheard,impartialtribunaland
ordinarycourseofprocedure.PatanjaliSastri,J.,did
notgoasfarasthatbuthedidsaythatcertainbasic
principlesemergedastheconstantfactorsknownto
allthoseproceduresandtheyformedthecoreofthe
procedure established by law. Mahajan, J., also
observedthatArticle21requiresthatthereshouldbe
some form of proceeding before a person can be
condemnedeitherinrespectofhislifeorhisliberty
anditnegativestheideaoffantastic,arbitraryand
oppressiveformsofproceedings.Butapartaltogether
from these observations inA.K. Gopalan case[AIR
1950SC27:1950SCR88:51CriLJ1383]which
have great weight, we find that even on principle
theconceptofreasonablenessmustbeprojectedin
theprocedurecontemplatedbyArticle21,having
regardtotheimpactofArticle14onArticle21.
(emphasisadded)

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181.

Inparagraph7,Bhagawati,J.heldthus:
7. Now,thequestionimmediatelyarisesastowhat
istherequirementofArticle14:whatisthecontent
andreachofthegreatequalisingprincipleenunciated
in this article? There can be no doubt that it is a
founding faith of the Constitution. It is indeed the
pillaronwhichrestssecurelythefoundationofour
democratic republic. And, therefore, it must not be
subjected to a narrow, pedantic or lexicographic
approach.Noattemptshouldbemadetotruncateits
allembracingscopeandmeaning,fortodosowould
be to violate its activist magnitude. Equality is a
dynamicconceptwithmanyaspectsanddimensions
and it cannot be imprisoned within traditional and
doctrinaire limits. We must reiterate here what was
pointedoutbythemajorityinE.P.Royappav.Stateof
TamilNadu[(1974)4SCC3:1974SCC(L&S)165:
(1974)2SCR348]namely,thatfromapositivistic
pointofview,equalityisantithetictoarbitrariness.In
factequalityandarbitrarinessareswornenemies;one

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belongs to the rule of law in a republic, while the


other, to the whim and caprice of an absolute
monarch.Whereanactisarbitrary,itisimplicitinit
thatitisunequalbothaccordingtopoliticallogicand
constitutionallawandisthereforeviolativeofArticle
14.Article14strikesatarbitrarinessinStateaction
andensuresfairnessandequalityoftreatment. The
principleofreasonableness,whichlegallyaswell
as philosophically, is an essential element of
equality or nonarbitrariness pervades Article 14
like a brooding omnipresence and theprocedure
contemplatedbyArticle21mustanswerthetestof
reasonablenessinordertobeinconformitywith
Article14.Itmustberightandjustandfairand
notarbitrary,fancifuloroppressive;otherwise,it
wouldbenoprocedureatallandtherequirement
ofArticle21wouldnotbesatisfied
(emphasissupplied)

182.KrishnaIyer,JinParagraph85summedupbyholdingthat

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theprocedureinArticle21mustmeanfairandnotaformalprocedure.
Themajorityviewtakeninthesaiddecisionisthatthefundamental
rightsunderPartIIIarenotdistinctandmutuallyexclusiverightsand,

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therefore,thelawaffectingpersonallibertyunderArticle21willhave
tosatisfythetestunderArticle14andClauses(2)to(6)ofArticle19of
theConstitutionofIndia.TheprocedurecontemplatedbyArticle21of
the Constitution of India has to satisfy the test of fairness and
reasonableness.

183.ThequestioniswhatistheburdenwhichtheStatewill
havetodischarge.AsheldinthecaseofDeenawhenthereisviolation
ofArticle21,theburdenisontheStatetoprovethattheprocedure
followedisjustfairandreasonable.Inaddition,inparagraphNo.318
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inthecaseofRamlilaMaidanIncidentInRe,theApexCourtobserved

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thus:

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316.While determining such matters the crucial


issueinfactisnotwhethersuchrightsexist,but
whethertheStatehasacompellinginterestinthe
regulationofasubjectwhichiswithinthepolice
power of the State. Undoubtedly, reasonable
regulation of time, place and manner of the act of
sleeping would not violate any constitutional
guarantee,forthereasonthatapersonmaynotclaim
thatsleepingishisfundamentalright,andtherefore,
hehasarighttosleepinthepremisesoftheSupreme
Court itself or within the precincts of Parliament.
Moreso,Iamdefinitelynotdealinghereinwiththe
rights of homeless persons who may claim right to
sleeponfootpathorpublicpremisesbutrestrictthe
caseonlytotheextentasunderwhatcircumstancesa
sleepingpersonmaybedisturbedandIamoftheview
thattheStateauthoritiescannotdepriveapersonof
thatrightanywhereandatalltimes.
(emphasisadded)

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184.

NowthequestioniswhethertheStatehasdischargedthe

burden.Article31CwillnothelptheStateasitisnotapplicablewhen
thereisachallengebasedonviolationofArticle21.TheStatementof
Objects and Reasons of the Amendment Act is completely silent as
regards the necessity of enacting the drastic provision of Section5D
which prevents a person from possessing flesh of any cow, bull or
bullock lawfully slaughtered outside the State of Maharashtra. As
pointedoutearlier,evenifapersonisfoundinpossessionoffleshof
cow,bullorbullockwhichisslaughteredoutsidetheStatewherethere
isnoprohibitiononslaughter,therewillbeaviolationofSection5D

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whichismadeanoffence.Wehavecarefullyperusedtheaffidavitsfiled

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bytheStateGovernment.Eveninthesaidaffidavits,itisnotthecase

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made out that by prohibiting the possession of flesh of cow, bull or

bullock which is lawfully slaughtered outside the State will in any


manner help to achieve the object of protecting the cows, bulls or
bullocksintheStateofMaharashtra.TheunamendedSection5which

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hascompletelyprohibitedtheslaughterofcowexistedforlastseveral
years.ItisnotthecaseoftheStateGovernmentthatonthebasisofits
pastexperience,itwasfeltnecessarytoimposesuchadrasticrestriction

asprovidedinSection5Dforachievingtheobjectwhichissoughttobe

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achievedbybanningslaughterofcow,bullorbullockintheState.

185.

TheobjectofenactingamendmenttoSections5and5A,

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5Band5Cappearstobetoprotect cows,bullsandbullocksinthe
State of Maharashtra from slaughter. Section 5D is a stand alone
provisionwhichhasnonexuswiththesaidobject. Itisnotthecase
made outbythe State thatthe banon slaughterof cows,bullsand
bullocks was to ensure that no one should eat the flesh of the said
animalsasitisinjurioustohealth.Theobjectistoprotectcowandits
progenyfromslaughteringwithintheState.Theobjectisnottoprevent
thecitizensfromeatingfleshofcoworitsprogenywhichisbrought
fromaStateoracountrywherethereisnoprohibitiononslaughter.
Thequestioniswhethersuchadrasticprovisionwouldstandtothetest

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ofcompellingStateinterest.Infact,theStatehasmadenoattemptto

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showanycompellingpublicorStateinterestforenactingSection5D.

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Wehavealreadyheldthatrightofprivacyisanintegralpartofthe

personallibertyunderArticle21.InthecaseofAkhilBharatGoseva
Sangh, the Apex Court observed that it is not held in the case of
Mirzapur that laws/policies permitting slaughter of progeny of cow

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wereunconstitutional. Asstatedearlier,theburdenwasontheState
Governmenttojustifytheconstitutionality.Thereisnoeffortmadeto
discharge the said burden. The State has not come out with any

materialtoshowwhatisthecompellingStateinteresttopreventan
individualfrompossessingorconsumingthemeatofcoworitsprogeny

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whichisaproductofslaughteroutsidetheState.Preventingacitizen
frompossessingfleshofcow,bullorbullockslaughteredoutsidethe

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Stateamountstoprohibitingacitizenfrompossessingandconsuming
foodofhischoice.InSection5D,thefocusseemstobegenerallyon
consumptionofbeef,asanitemoffood.Consumptionoffoodwhich
notinjurioustohealthisapartofanindividual'sautonomyorhisright
tobeletalone.Hence,itisaninfringementofhisrightofprivacy.In
ourview,Section5Dviolatestherightofprivacybeinganintegralpart
ofthepersonallibertyunderArticle21. ViolationofSection5Dby
possessingmeat ofcow,bullorbullockwhichislawfullyslaughtered
outsidetheStateismadeanoffenceandunderSection9A,aperson
canbepunishedwithimprisonmentforatermwhichmayextendto

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The only serious attempt made to justify the validity of

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oneyearorfinewhichmayextendtoRs.2,000/.

Section5DisbyoneoftheIntervenorsbyrelyinguponadecisionofthe
ApexCourtinthecaseofIndianHandicraftsEmporiumandOthersv.
UnionofIndiaandOthers.ThechallengeinthiscasewastoSection

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49CoftheWildLife(Protection)Act,1972. BySection49C,atotal
prohibitiononthetradeofimportedivorywasimposed.Evenimportof
Ivorywasprohibited.Thesaidprovisionwaschallengedonthebasisof

violationofArticle19(1)(g)oftheConstitutionofIndia.Thevalidityof
theprovisionwhichbannedimportwasupheldonthegroundthatit

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wasnecessarytodosowithaviewtopreventpoachingofelephantsin
India.Wehaveexaminedthesaiddecision.Theslaughterofelephants

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had been totally prohibited in India from the year 1980 under the
provisionsofWildLife(Prevention)Act,1972

187.

TheApexCourtconsideredtheStatementofObjectsand

Reasons of the Amending Act which brought about the amendment


whichreadsthus:
Poachingofwildanimalsandillegaltradeofproducts
derived therefrom, together with degradation and
depletion of habitats have seriously affected wildlife
population.Inordertocheckthistrend,itisproposed
to prohibit hunting of all wild animals (other than
vermin). However, hunting of wild animals in
exceptionalcircumstances,particularlyforthepurpose
of protection of life and property andfor education,
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research,scientificmanagementandcaptivebreeding,
wouldcontinue.Itisbeingmademandatoryforevery
transporter not to transport any wildlife product
without proper permission. The penalties for various
offencesareproposedtobesuitablyenhancedtomake
them deterrent. The Central Government Officers as
wellasindividualsnowcanalsofilecomplaintsinthe
courtsforoffencesundertheAct.Itisalsoproposedto
provide for appointment of honorary Wild Life
Wardensandpaymentofrewardstopersonshelpingin
apprehensionofoffenders.

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Tocurblargescalemortalitiesinwildanimalsdueto
communicable diseases, it is proposed to make
provisionsforcompulsoryimmunisationoflivestockin
andaroundnationalparksandsanctuaries.
***
ItmayberecalledthatthepartiestotheConvention
onInternationalTradeinEndangeredSpeciesofWild
FaunaandFlora(CITES),beinggreatlyconcernedby
thedeclineinpopulationofAfricanelephantsdueto
illegal trade in ivory, have included this animal in
AppendixIoftheConventioninOctober1989.Dueto
thischange,theimportandexportofAfricanivoryfor
commercialpurposeshasbeenprohibited.Asaresult,
importofivorywouldnolongerbepossibletomeet
the requirements of the domestic ivory trade. If the
ivory trade is allowed to continue, it will lead to
largescalepoachingofIndianelephants.Withthis
pointinview,thetradeinimportedivorywithinthe
countryisproposedtobebannedaftergivingdue
opportunity to ivory traders to dispose of their
existingstock.
(emphasisadded)

188.

Inparagraph45and46,theApexCourtobservedthus:
45. ParliamentwhileenactingthesaidamendingAct
tooknoteofseriousdimensionsofpoachingof
wildanimalsandillegaltradegivingexponential
riseofwildanimalsandtheirproducts.
46.

TheHon'bleMinisterofStateoftheMinistryof
EnvironmentandForestsintheHousestated:

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Inparagraph53,theApexCourtobservedthus:

189.

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Population of Indian elephants,


particularlyinSouthIndia,isunderserious
threat by ivory poachers. Although the
trade in Indian ivory was banned in
1986,thetradeinimportedivorygives
an opportunity to unscrupulous ivory
traderstolegalisepoachedivoryinthe
nameofimportedivory.Withthispoint
in view, the trade in African ivory is
proposedtobebannedaftergivingdue
opportunity to ivory traders to dispose
oftheirexistingstocks.

(emphasisadded)

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53. Itis,therefore,difficulttoacceptthecontention
of Mr Sanghi that protection and preservation of
wildlifewouldnotbeinpublicinterestand/orcannot
beextendedtoimportedivory.Wildlifeformspartof
our cultural heritage. Animals play a vital role in
maintaining ecological balance. The amendments
have been brought for the purpose of saving the
endangered species from extinction as also for
arresting depletion in their numbers caused by
callousexploitationthereof.
(emphasisadded)

190.

Ultimately,inparagraph56,theApexCourtheldthus:
56. ThestandoftheStatethatbyreasonofsaleof
ivorybythedealers,poachingandkillingofelephants
wouldbeencouraged,cannotbesaidtobeirrational.
Mr Sanghi, as noticed hereinbefore, has drawn our
attentiontothechangessoughttobeeffectedinCITES
attheinstanceofBotswana,SouthAfrica,Namibiaand
Zimbabwe. The question as to whether a reasonable
restrictionwouldbecomeunreasonableandviceversa
woulddependuponthefactsituationobtainingineach
case. In the year 1972 when the said Act was
enacted,theremightnothavebeenanynecessityto
preserve the elephant as also ivory. The species
mightnothavebeenonthebrinkofextinction.The

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Objects and Reasons set out for bringing in


amendments in the said Acts in the years 1986,
1991 and 2003 clearly bring to the fore the
necessitytotakemoreandmorestringentmeasures
soastoputchecksonpoachingandillegaltradein
ivory. Experience shows that poaching may be
difficult to be completely checked. Preventive
measuresasregardspoachingleadingtokillingof
elephants for the purpose of extraction of their
tusks is a difficult task to achieve and, thus,
Parliamentmusthavethoughtitexpedienttoputa
complete ban on trade in ivory to meet the
requirementofthecountry.
(emphasisadded)

Thusinthefactsofthatcase,theApexCourtfoundthatban
ontradeofimportedivorywasnotonlyjustifiedbytheStatementof

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ObjectandReasons,buttheStateplacedonrecordenoughmaterialto
justifythetotalban.Thebanontradeofimportedivorywasimposed
on the basis of past experience which showed that prevention of

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poachingcanbeachievedonlybyimposingacompletebanontradein
ivory. Inthefactsofthepresentcase,thedrasticprovisionofSection
5DisjustifiedneitherbytheStatementofObjectandReasonsnorby
placinganymaterialonrecordtojustifythecompellingstateinterest.In
thefactsofthecasebeforeus,itisnotthecaseoftheStateGovernment
thattheimportedfleshofcow,bullorbullockwillbeusedasacoverfor
illegal slaughter of the animals of the said category in the State of
Maharashtra.Moreover,thechallengetotheSection49Cwasonthe
groundofinfringementofrightunderArticle19(1)(g).Inthiscase,the
violationofArticle21isalleged.Hence,theStatemustprove

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violation of Article 21 as alleged. Hence, the State must prove

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compelling state interest. Therefore, the said decision in the case of

OtherswillnothelptheRespondents.

191.

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Inthecaseof IndianHandicraftsEmporiumandOthers

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v. Union of India and Others, the Apex Court has quoted with
approval,thefollowingportionoftheCommentaryon Constitutional

LawbyD.D.Basu,whichreadsthus:

In D.D. Basu:Commentary on the Constitution of


India(6thEdn.,Vol.C),atpp.4546,thelawhasbeen
summarizedinthefollowingmanner:

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Itisnowsettledthatnoinflexibleanswertothis
questionispossible,andthatitisthenatureofthe
business or property which is an important
element in determining how far the restriction
mayreasonablygo:
(A)Inthecaseofinherentlydangerousornoxious
trades,suchasproductionortradinginliquors
orcultivationofnarcoticplants,ortraffickingin
women,itwouldbeareasonablerestrictionto
prohibitthetradeorbusinessaltogether.
(B) Wherethetradeorbusinessisnotinherently
bad, as in the preceding cases, it must be
shownbyplacingmaterialsbeforethecourt
that prohibition of private enterprise in the
particular business was essential in the
interestsofpublicwelfare.ThusInorderto
prevent speculative dealings in essential
commodities(suchascotton),duringaperiodof
emergency, the State may impose a temporary
prohibition on all normal trading of such

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commodities. In the later case of Narendra v.


UnionofIndia[AIR1960SC430:(1960)2SCR
375] the Supreme Court has sustained even a
permanent law leading to the elimination of
middlemen from the business in essential
commodities in order to ensure the supply of
such goods to the consumers at a minimum
price.
(emphasisadded)

ClauseBabovewouldcoverthefactsofthecaseinhand.

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Inthepresentcase,Section5Dseekstoprohibitsomethingwhichisnot
otherwiseillegal.But,theStatehasnotsupporteditbyshowingthatit

192.

isintheinterestofpublicwelfare.

Tosummarize,Section5Dwillhavetobestruckdownas

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being violative of fundamental rightguaranteedby Article 21 of the

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ConstitutionofIndia.

193.

There is one more aspect of the matter. The scope of

Article21hasbeenexpandedbytheApexCourtfromtimetotime.It
includestherighttoleadameaningfullife.Itprotectsthecitizenfrom
unnecessarystateintrusionintohishome.Forleadingameaningfullife,
acitizenwillhavetoeatfoodandpreferablyfoodofhischoice.Ifthe
statetellshimnottoeataparticularkindoffoodthoughthesameis
not injurious to health, it will prevent the citizen from leading a
meaningfullife.IftheStatestartsmakingintrusionintothepersonal
lifeofanindividualbypreventinghimfromeatingfoodofhischoice,

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suchactmaywellaffecthispersonalliberty.Hence,evenassumingthat

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ofpersonallibertyguaranteedbytheState.

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theremaynotbeanyrightofprivacy,suchinterferencewillbeviolation

SUBSECTIONS(3)AND(4)OFSECTION8
194.

Now we deal with the challenge to Subsection (3) of

Section 8 and which is added in the Animal Welfare Act by the

toSection8,readthus:

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AmendmentAct.Subsection(3)andSubSection(4)whichareadded

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(3) AnyPoliceOfficernotbelowtherankofSub
Inspectororanypersonauthorizedinthisbehalf
by the State Government, may, with a view to
securing compliance of provisions of Section 5A,
5B, 5C or 5D, for satisfying himself that the
provisionsofthesaidsectionshavebeencomplied
withmay=

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(a) enter,stopandsearch,orauthorizeany
person to enter, stop and search and
searchanyvehicleusedorintendedto
be used forthe exportof cow,bullor
bullock;
(b) seizeorauthorizetheseizureofcow,
bullorbullockinrespectofwhichhe
suspects that any provision of
sections,5A,5B,5Cor5Dhasbeenis
being or is about to be contravened,
alongwith the vehicles in which such
cow, bull or bullock are found and
there after take or authorize the
taking of all measures necessary for
securing the production of such cow,
bull or bullock and the vehicles so
seized, in a court and for their safe
custodypendingsuchproduction.

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Provided that pending trial, seized cow, bull or


bullock shall be handed over to the nearest
Gosadan,Goshala,Panjrapole,HinsaNivaranSangh
orsuchotherAnimalWelfareOrganisationswilling
to accept such custody and the accused shall be
liabletopayfortheirmaintenancefortheperiod
they remain in custody with any of the said
institutions or organizations as per the orders of
theCourt.

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(4) TheprovisionsoftheSection100ofCodeof
Criminal Procedure, 1973 relating to search and
seizure and shall, so far as may be, apply to
searchesandseizuresunderthisSection.

195.

(portioninboldlettersaddedbyAmendment)

AswehaveheldthatSection5Disunconstitutional,the

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referencetoSection5DinsubSection(3)willhavetobestruckdown.
Clause(a)ofSubsection(3)ofSection8conferspoweronthepolice
officernotbelowtherankofSubInspectororanyofficerauthorizedin

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thatbehalfbytheStateGovernment toenter,stopandsearch,orto
authorize any person to enter, stop and search any vehicle used or
intendedtobeusedfortheexportofcow,bullorbullock.Thispower
canbeexercisedonlyforsecuringcompliancewithSubsection(2)of
Section 5A. Clause (b) of Subsection (3) of Section 8 authorizes
seizureofanycow,bullorbullockprovidedtheofficerssuspectthatany
provision of Sections 5A, 5B or 5C is being or is about to be
contravened along with the vehicles in which such cows, bulls or
bullocksarefound.Subsection(4)ofSection8isveryclear.Itrecords
thatSection100oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,1973willapplyto

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anysearchcarriedoutunderSection8. Section100oftheCodeof

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CriminalProcedure,1973readsthus:

Where any person in or about such place is


reasonably suspected of concealing about his
person anyarticle for which searchshould be
made,suchpersonmaybesearchedandifsuch
personisawoman,thesearchshallbemadeby
anotherwomanwithstrictregardtodecency.

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(3)

Ifingressintosuchplacecannotbesoobtained,
the officer or other person executing the
warrant may proceed in the manner provided
bysubsection(2)ofSection47.

(2)

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100. Persons in charge of closed place to allow


search. (1) Whenever any place liable to
search or inspection under this Chapter is
closed, any person residing in, or being in
chargeof,suchplace,shall,ondemandofthe
officer or other person executing the warrant,
and on production of the warrant, allow him
free ingress thereto, and afford all reasonable
facilitiesforasearchtherein.

BeforemakingasearchunderthisChapter,the
officer or other person about to make it shall
call upon two or more independent and
respectableinhabitantsofthelocalityinwhich
the place to be searched is situate or of any
otherlocalityifnosuchinhabitantofthesaid
localityisavailableoriswillingtobeawitness
tothesearch,toattendandwitnessthesearch
andmayissueanorderinwritingtothemor
anyofthemsotodo.

(5)

Thesearchshallbemadeintheirpresence,and
alistofallthingsseizedinthecourseofsuch
search and of the places in which they are
respectively found shall be prepared by such
officer or other person and signed by such
witnesses; but no person witnessing a search
under this section shall be required to attend
the Court as a witness of the search unless
speciallysummonedbyit.

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(4)

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The occupant of the place searched, or some


personinhisbehalf,shall,ineveryinstance,be
permitted to attend during the search, and a
copy of the list prepared under this section,
signedbythesaidwitnesses,shallbedelivered
tosuchoccupantorperson.

(7)

Whenanypersonissearchedundersubsection
(3),alistofallthingstakenpossessionofshall
be prepared, and a copy thereof shall be
deliveredtosuchperson.

(8)

Any person who, without reasonable cause,


refuses or neglects to attend and witness a
searchunderthissection,whencalleduponto
do so by an order in writing delivered or
tendered to him, shall be deemed to have
committedanoffenceunderSection187ofthe
IndianPenalCode(45of1860).

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(6)

196. Therefore,allthesafeguardswhichareincorporatedinSection

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100areapplicabletoasearchunderSubsection(3)ofSection8.

197.

ThewordsuspicionusedinClause(b)ofSubsection(3)

ofSection8cannotbeameredoubt.Itissomethingmuchmorethana
ameredoubt.WehavealreadyheldthattheprovisionsofSections5A,
5Band5Chavebeenenactedforthepurposesofachievingtheobjectof
protecting cows,bullsandbullocksintheStatefromslaughter. The
violationofSections5A,5Band5Chasbeenmadeanoffencebyvirtue
oftheAmendmentAct.Therefore,theprovisionsofsearchandseizure
have been incorporated in Subsection (3) of Section 8 for securing
compliance with the provisions of Sections 5A, 5B and 5C of the

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AmendmentAct. Ifthereisillegalseizure,theremediesarealways

198.

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Procedure,1973toapplyforreturnoftheproperty.

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available to the aggrieved person under the Code of Criminal

ProvisotoSection3laysdownthatpendingtrial,seized

cow, bull or bullock shall be handed over to the nearest Gosadans,

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Goshalas, Panjapols, Hinsa Nivaran Sangh or any other Animal


Organizationswhicharewillingtoacceptsuchcustody.Itprovidesthat
theaccusedshallbeliabletopayfortheirmaintenancefortheperiod

theyremainincustodywithanyotherinstitutionsororganizationsas
pertheordersoftheCourt.Apartfromthefactthattheremediesare

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available to challenge the illegal seizure, it is ultimately for the


concernedCourttopassanorderagainsttheaccusedforpaymentof

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maintenanceoftheanimals.ItisobviousthattheconcernedCourthas
discretiontopassanorderdirectingthepaymentofmaintenancebythe
accused.Inanyevent,theexistenceofsuspicionasprovidedinClause
(b) of Subsection (3) of Section 8 of likely contravention of the
provisions of Section 5C will have to be in the context of the
interpretationputbythisCourttoSection5C.Beforetheamendment,
Subsections(1)and(2)ofSection8werealreadypartoftheAnimal
PreservationActwhichreadthus:
8. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the competent
authorityoranypersonauthorisedinwritinginthat
behalfbythecompetentauthority(hereinafterinthis

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section referred to as the authorised person) shall


havepowertoenterandinspectanyplacewherethe
competent authority or the authorised person has
reason to believe that an offence under this Act has
been,orislikelytobe,committed.

199.

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(2) Everypersoninoccupationofanysuchplaceshall
allow the competent authority or the authorised person
such access to that place as may be necessary for the
aforesaid purpose and shall answer to the best of his
knowledge and belief any question put to him by the
competentauthorityortheauthorisedperson.
Perhaps, incorporation of Subsections (3) and (4) of

Section 8 was necessary to give a full effect to the intention of the

legislature of completely prohibiting the slaughter of cows, bulls or


bullocksinthestate. Hence,thereasonswhichwehaverecordedfor

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upholdingthevalidityoftheamendedSection5and Sections5A,B5
and5CwillsquarelyapplytothechallengetoSection8.Therefore,we

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findnomeritinthechallengetothevalidityofSubsections(3)and(4)
ofSection8oftheAnimalWelfareAct.

[D]

200.

VALIDITYOFSECTION9B

Thenextquestionwhichsurvivesforconsiderationisthe

issue of constitutional validity of Section 9B introduced by the


AmendmentAct.IhadbenefitofgoingthroughaseparateJudgmentof
myesteemedcolleagueS.C.Gupte,J.Ifullyconcurwiththeviewtaken
byS.C.Gupte,Jinhiseruditejudgment. Hence,whileadoptingthe
findingsrecordedbyGupte,J,Iamnotrecordinganyseparatefinding

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onthisquestion.

201.

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PERS.C.GUPTE,J

Section9BoftheActcaststheburdenofprovingthatthe

slaughter,transport,export,sale,purchaseorpossessionofbovineflesh,

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asthecasemaybe,wasnotincontraventionoftheprovisionsoftheAct
ontheaccusedinanytrialforanoffencepunishableunderSection9or
9A.ThePetitionerschallengethisprovisionasillegalandultraviresthe

ConstitutionofIndia.Itissubmittedthatpresumptionofinnocenceisa
constitutionalguaranteetoeveryaccusedfacingatrialandinsofaras

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Section 9B presumes contravention, and thereby the guilt of the


accused,andcaststhelegalburdenofprovingnoncontravention,that
is to say, innocence, on the accused, the same in violative of the

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constitutionalrightofthe accused. Mr.Kumbhakoni,learnedSenior


CounselappearingforthePetitionersinWritPetition(L)No.3396of
2015,whomadeleadsubmissionsonthispoint,suggestedvarioustests
whereareverseburdenontheaccused,or,inotherwords,limitations
ontherighttobepresumedinnocent,mightbecountenancedasvalid.
Hecontendedthatsuchprovisionneedstobetestedontheanvilofthe
State'sresponsibilitytoprotectinnocentcitizensandtheimportanceof
this duty must be weighed against the purpose of the limitations.
LearnedCounselreliedonthecaseofNoorAgavs.StateofPunjabin

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supportofhissubmission.RelyingonthecaseofBholaSinghvs.State

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ofPunjab58,healsosubmittedthatitisonlyafterthestatedischarges

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itsinitialburdenofprovingfoundationalfactsthattheburdencanbe
shiftedontotheaccused.Mr.Kumbhakonisubmittedthatthereareno
foundationalfactstobeestablishedbytheStateinthecaseofatrialof
offencesundertheAct,byvirtueofSection9B.Hesubmittedthateven

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tests such as the difficulty in the prosecution giving a proof of a


presumed fact versus the relative ease with which the accused may
proveordisproveanysuchfact,ortheextentandnatureofmattersto

beprovedbytheaccusedandtheirimportancerelativetothematters
required to be proved by the prosecution, which ordinarily sustain

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castingofareverseburden,arenotsatisfiedinthiscase.

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202.

Ontheotherhand,itissubmittedbythelearnedAdvocate

Generalthatpresumptionofinnocenceisnotarightguaranteedbythe
Constitution and cannot per se be extended within the purview of
freedomoflifeandlibertyguaranteedunderArticle21.Itissubmitted
thatthoughtherighttoafreeandfairtrialisanimportantrightinthe
criminallegalsystem,suchrightcannotincludetherighttopresume
innocence.LearnedAdvocateGeneralsubmitsthattheruleofreverse
burden of proof, or, in other words, shifting of the burden on the
accusedtoproveinnocence,isnotforeigntoIndianlegalsystem. He
relies on several enactments such as Essential Commodities Act,
58 (2011)11 Supreme Court Cases 653

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NarcoticDrugsandPsychotropicSubstancesAct,WildLifeProtection

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Act, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act and Foreign Exchange

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Management Act, Food Adulteration Act, Customs Act, etc. where


burdentoprovethathisactwasinnocentandnotincontraventionof
thepenalprovisionsintherelevantActhasbeenshiftedorcastonthe
accused.RelianceisplacedonthejudgmentsoftheSupremeCourtin

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NoorAga(supra)andP.K.KrishnaLalvs.StateofKerala59insupport
of validity of casting of such reverse burden. It is submitted that
Section9Bcomeswithintheexceptionstothegeneralrulerequiringthe

prosecution toproveeveryelement of anoffencebeyondreasonable


doubt. It is submitted that the facts required to be proved by the

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accusedfordischargingtheburdenwithinthemeaningofSection9B

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arespeciallywithinhisknowledgeandcanbeprovedbyhim.

203.

Thesanctityofhumanlifeandlibertyisprobablythemost

fundamentalofhumansocialvaluesandArticle21,whichformsthe
pivotofthisfundamentalvalueenshrinedinourConstitution,prevents
anyencroachmentuponthisrighttolifeandpersonallibertybythe
executive, save in accordance with a procedure established by law.
Everypunishmentmetedouttoanindividualbywayofimprisonment
bytheStatemustsatisfythetestofArticle21. Thatisprobablythe
least of the content of that Article. Such punishment must be in
accordancewiththeprocedureestablishedbylaw. Itissimilartothe
59 (1995) Supp (2) Supreme Court Cases 187

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US concept of 'due process'. That concept was explained in the

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AmericancaseofChambersvs.Florida60inthefollowingwords:

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.... A liberty loving people won the principle that


criminal punishments could not be inflicted save for
thatwhichproperlegislativeactionhadalreadyby'the
lawoftheland'forbiddenwhendone.Butevenmore
wasneededfromthepopularhatredandabhorrenceof
illegal confinement, torture and extortion of
confessionsofviolationsofthe'lawoftheland'evolved
the fundamental idea that no man's life, liberty or
property be forfeited as criminal punishment for
violation of that law until there had been a charge
fairly made and fairly tried.... Thus, as assurance
againstancientevils,ourcountry,inordertopreserve
theblessingsofliberty,wrote intoitsbasiclawthe
requirement,amongothers,thattheforfeitureofthe
lives,libertiesorpropertyofpeopleaccusedofcrime
canonlyfollowifproceduralsafeguardsofdueprocess
havebeenobeyed.

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Therearebothproceduralandsubstantiveaspectsofthis

dueprocess.Procedurally,itmeansthatindealingwithindividuals,the
Statemustproceedwith'settledusagesandmodesofprocedure'. For
example,therulesthatnobodyshouldbeconvictedwithoutahearing
or that the judge must be impartial or that an orderly course of
procedure must be adopted in the trial, are part of procedural due
process. This is what the court said in the old case of Hagar vs.
ReclamationDist.61:
Bydueprocessoflawismeantonewhich,followingthe
formsof law, isappropriate tothe case andjustto the
60 (1940)309 US 227
61 (1884)111 US 701

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partiestobeaffected.Itmustbepursuedintheordinary
modesprescribedbylaw,itmustbeadaptedtotheendto
beattained,wheneveritisnecessaryfortheprotectionof
thepartiesitmustgivethemanopportunitytobeheard
respecting the justness for the judgment sought. The
clause,therefore,meansthattherecanbenoproceeding
against life, liberty or property which may result in
deprivation of either, without the observance of those
generalrulesestablishedinoursystemofjurisprudencefor
thesecurityofprivaterights.

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Ontheotherhand,substantivedueprocessmandatesthat
acriminallawdoesnotcomeintoconflictwiththerightsguaranteedby
the First Amendment, e.g. the freedom of speech and of the press,

freedomofassembly,ofassociation,etc.Acriminalstatute,which,for
example, is either vague or gives contradictory commands, offends

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againstthissubstantiveaspectofdueprocess.

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204.

In India, the early approach to Article 21 envisaged the

right to life and personal liberty as circumscribed by literal


interpretation. That was in A.K. Gopalan vs. State of Madras62.
Article 21 was construed narrowly, as a guarantee against executive
action unsupported by law. That would suggest that a law, coming
underArticle21,madebyacompetentlegislatureisnotcontrolledby
otherArticleswithinPartIII(save,ofcourse,Article22,whichprovides
for protection against arrest and detention in certain cases). Later
decisionsoftheSupremeCourtmadeacleardeparturefromthatview.
62 1950 SCR 88 = AIR 1950 SC 27

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In R.C.Coopervs.UnionofIndia,ShahJ.,speakingforthemajority,

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pointed out that Part III of the Constitution weaves a pattern of

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guarantees on the texture of basic human rights. The guarantees


delimittheprotectionofthoserightsintheirallottedfields: theydo
notattempttoenunciatedistinctrights.ThemajorityinR.C.Cooper,
insomanywords,observedthatevenwhereapersonisdetainedin

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accordance with the procedure prescribed by law, as mandated by


Article 21, the protection conferred by the various clauses of Article
19(1)doesnotceasetobeavailabletohim. TheCourtheldthatthe

lawauthorisingsuchdetentionhastosatisfythetestoftheapplicable
freedoms under Article 19. Then, in Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of

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India, the Supreme Court authoritatively considered the inter


relationshipbetweenArticle21andArticle14oftheConstitution. In

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nouncertainterms,theCourtin ManekaGandhi heldthatifalaw


deprivingapersonof'personalliberty'andprescribingaprocedurefor
thatpurposewithinthemeaningofArticle21hastostandthetestof
oneormoreofthefundamentalrightsconferredunderArticle19,ex
hypothesiitmustalsobeliabletobetestedwithreferencetoArticle14.
In other words, the Court accepted a clear limitation even on law
makingsothatdeprivationoflifeandpersonallibertymustnotonlybe
bylawwhichprescribesaprocedureforit,buttheprocedureprescribed
itselfmustbereasonable,fairandjust.Nowitiswellsettledthatthe
validity of a law coming under Article 21 must also be tested with

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referencetoArticles14and19.ThisiswhattheSupremeCourtsaidin

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ManekaGandhi'scase(supra).

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The law must, therefore, now be taken to be well


settledthatArt.21doesnotexcludeArticle19and
thatevenifthereisalawprescribingaprocedurefor
depriving a person of 'personal liberty' and there is
consequently no infringement of the fundamental
rightconferredbyArticle21,suchlaw,insofarasit
abridgesortakesawayanyfundamentalrightunder
Article19wouldhavetomeetthechallengeofthat
article. This proposition can no longer be disputed
afterthedecisionsinR.C.Cooper'scase.Shambunath
Sarkar'scaseandHaradhanSaha'scase.Now,ifalaw
depriving a person of 'personal liberty' and
prescribing a procedure for that purpose within the
meaningofArticle21hastostandthetestofoneor
more of the fundamental rights conferred under
Article 19 which may be applicable in a given
situation, ex hypothesi it must also be liable to be
testedwithreferencetoArticle14. This wasinfact
not disputed by the learned Attorney General and
indeedhecouldnotdosoinviewoftheclearand
categoricalstatementmadebyMukherjea,J.inA.K.
Gopalan'scase thatArticle21presupposesthatthe
lawisavalidandbindinglawundertheprovisionsof
theConstitutionhavingregardtothecompetenceof
thelegislatureandthesubjectitrelatestoanddoes
notinfringeanyofthefundamentalrightswhichthe
Constitutionprovidesfor,includingArticle14. This
Court also applied Article 14 in two of its earlier
decisions,namely,TheStateofWestBengalv.Anwar
AliSarkar,1952SCR435:(AIR1952SC123)where
therewasaspeciallawprovidingfortrialofcertain
offencesbyaspeedierprocesswhichtookawaysome
ofthe safeguardsavailable toan accusedunder the
ordinaryprocedure in the Criminal Procedure Code.
The special law in each of these two cases
undoubtedly prescribed a procedure for trial of the
specified offences and this procedure could not be
condemnedasinherentlyunfairor unjustandthere
wasthuscompliancewiththerequirementofArticle
21,buteven so, the validityof the speciallawwas

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testedbeforetheSupremeCourtonthetouchstoneof
Article 14 and in one case, namely, Kathi Raning
Rawat'scase,thevaliditywasupheldandintheother,
namely,AnwarAliSarkar'scase,itwasstruckdown.
It was held in both these cases that the procedure
establishedbythespeciallawmustnotbeviolativeof
theequalityclause.Thatproceduremustanswerthe
requirement of Article 14. The nature and
requirementoftheprocedureunderArticle21.

If the procedure prescribed does not satisfy the test of

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Article14,e.g.ifitisarbitrary,oppressive orfanciful,itwouldbeno
procedure at all within the meaning of Article 21 (See District
Registrar and Collector, Hyderabad vs. Canara Bank). So also,

consideringthattheconceptofreasonablenesspermeatesArticle14,a
procedurewhichisunreasonablecannotbetermedasaprocedureso

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establishedbylaw.Insum,afterManekaGandhi'scase,thelawcan
betakenasfullysettledthatpersonallibertiescannotberestrictedeven

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bylawexceptaftersatisfyingArticles14and19.Therightoflifeand
libertyunderArticle21,thus,clearlycoversthesubstantialdueprocess
aspectenvisagedintheAmericanjurisprudence.

205.

AfterconsideringthusthereachofArticle21,wemaynow

focusonthepresumptionofinnocenceanditsplaceinacriminaltrial
from the standpoint of a reasonable and fair procedure which could
passmusteroftheconstitutionalscheme.Presumptionofinnocenceis
universallyregardedasanimportanthumanright.Article11(1)ofthe
UniversalDeclarationofHumanRightsprovidesthateveryonecharged

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withapenaloffencehastherighttobepresumedinnocentuntilproved

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guiltyaccordingtolawin apublictrialatwhichhehashadallthe

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guarantees necessary for his defence. Article 6(2) of the European


ConventiononHumanRights,1950alsostatesthateveryonecharged

withacriminaloffenceshallbepresumedinnocentuntilprovedguilty
accordingtolaw.TheSupremeCourt,inKrishnaJanardhanBhatvs.

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DattatrayaG.Hegde63putthematterthus:

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44. Thepresumptionofinnocenceisahumanright.
(SeeNarenderSinghv.StateofM.P.(2004)10SCC
699, Ranjitsing Brahmajeetsing Sharma v. State of
Maharashtra (2005) 5SCC 294 andRajeshRanjan
Yadav v. CBI (2007) 1 SCC 70) Article 6(2) of the
European Convention on Human Rights provides :
"Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be
presumed innocent until proved guilty according to
law". Although India is not bound by the
aforementionedConventionandassuchitmaynotbe
necessary like the countries forming European
countries to bring common law into land with the
Convention,abalancingoftheaccused'srightsandthe
interest of the society is required to be taken into
consideration. In India, however, subject to the
statutoryinterdicts,thesaidprincipleformsthebasis
ofcriminaljurisprudence.

206.

Thus, as a normal rule, an accused is presumed to be

innocentuntilheisprovedguilty.Correspondingly,itisthedutyofthe
prosecutiontoprovetheguiltoftheaccused. Thatbringsustothe
question of the burden of proof and its role in a criminal trial
particularly in reference to the presumption of innocence of the
accused. Burdenofproofitself,asunderstoodbythelaw,isoftwo
63 (2008)4 SCC 54

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types;one,burden of pursuation or the legal burden, which is ona

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partyas a matter of law if noevidence isproduced, the party on

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whomsuchburdenliesfails;andtwo,evidentialburdenortheburden
ofgoingforwardwithevidence.Underthetraditionalview,burdenof
pursuationnevershiftsfromonepartytotheotheratanystageofthe
proceedings,whereasevidentialburdenmaywellshiftbackandforth

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between the parties as the trial progresses. The normal rule of


presumption of innocence of the accused would thus imply that it
would be for the prosecution to discharge the pursuasive or legal

burdentoprovetheguiltoftheaccused.Traditionallyconceived,every
criminaloffencehastwoessentialelements actusreus,thatistosay,

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theguiltyactitselfand mensrea,theguiltymind. Thoughthereare


manycrimes(knownascrimesofstrictliability)whichdonotrequire

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mens rea, whenever mens rea is required, the prosecution has to


ordinarilyestablishboththe actusreus ofthecrimeandthe mensrea.
Thistraditionalviewhasundergonechangesovertime.Nowthereare
wellknownexceptionstothenormalrulethattheburdenofproofis
upontheprosecution. Theseexceptionsare:(1)when theaccused
admitsthe actusreus and mensrea butpleadsaspecialdefence. For
example,in a prosecution formurder,when the accusedpleadsself
defence,theevidentialburdenisupontheaccusedtocreateatleasta
reasonabledoubtinhisfavouronsuchplea;(2)whentheaccusedsets
upaspecialcase,suchasinsanity,inwhichcaseboththeevidentialand

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thepursuasiveburdenrestuponhimtoestablishthefactsconstituting

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suchdefence. Itmaystillbesufficient,however,forhimtodischarge

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suchburdenonabalanceofprobabilities;(3)Thethirdwellknown
exceptionisthestatutoryinterdictreferredtobytheSupremeCourtin
KrishnaJanardhanBhat'scase(supra).Astatuteitselfmayexpressly

placeapursuasiveburdenontheaccused.Forexample,ifcontraband

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like narcotic drug or psychotropic substance is seized from the


possession of any person and such possession and seizure are
established, the burden of provingthat suchpossession was notan

offenceundertheNarcoticDrugsandPsychotropicSubstancesActlies
on such person. If the person fails to account for such possession

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satisfactorily,Section54ofthatActdrawsapresumptionoftheoffence.

207.

In the present case, we are concerned with this third

exception. Thestatute,namely,Section9B,doescastthepursuasive
burdenontheaccusedtoprovethattheslaughter,transport,export,
sale, purchase or possession, as the case may be, was not in
contravention of the provisions of the Act. If the State holds the
accusedguiltyandpunisheshimonhisfailuretodischargethatburden,
the personal liberty of the accused is taken away by a procedure
established by law. But does this procedure satisfy the mandate of
Articles14and19,asitmustasdiscussedabove.TheaspectofArticle

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19insofarastheoffencesthemselvesareconcerned,hasalreadybeen

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consideredabove.Hereweareessentiallydealingwiththeprocedure

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passing the muster of Article 14. Does the procedure violate the

equalityclause?Isitreasonable,fairandjust?Orisitisarbitraryor
fanciful? To answer these questions, we must first consider the
rationablebehindtherequirementofcastingareverseburdenonthe

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accused,andthenseethetestswhichmustbesatisfiedbyanyprovision
ofsuchreverseburden,beforeweconsiderhowthestatuteinquestion

208.

faresinthatrespect.

The rationale behind limiting the individual's right to

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personallibertyandtheconsequentialentitlementtodueprocessina
criminaltrial,inthefirstplace,istobalancetheinterestsofthestateto

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secure a conviction, particularly in the case of heinous crimes, and


therebyenforcethelawwiththeinterestsofthecitizentobeprotected
frominjustice atthehandsofthelawenforcementmachinery. The
SupremeCourtinthecaseofNoorAga(supra),putthematterthus:
Enforcement of law, on the one hand and protection of
citizenfromoperationofinjusticeinthe handsofthelaw
enforcementmachinery,ontheother,is,thus,requiredtobe
balanced.Theconstitutionalityofapenalprovisionplacing
burdenofproofonanaccused,thus,mustbetestedonthe
anviloftheState'sresponsibilitytoprotectinnocentcitizens.
The court must assess the importance of the right being
limitedtooursocietyandthismustbeweighedagainstthe
purposeofthelimitation. Thepurposeofthelimitationis
thereasonforthelaworconductwhichlimitstheright.(see
Sv.Dlamini((1999)4SA623:(1999)7BCLR771(CC)

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ThisbalanceisachievedbyallowingtheStatetorelyonpresumptions

209.

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accusedtorebutthosepresumptions.

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basedonrecognisedprinciples,whilstatthesametime,permittingthe

Therearevariousrecognizedreasonswhystatutesprovide

forpresumptionsoffactorlawandcastaburdenontheaccusedto

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displacethosepresumptions. TheSupremeCourtin P.N.KrishnaLal


(supra)exploredthecontoursofcomparablejurisdictionsinUK,Hong
Kong,Malaysia,USA,AustraliaandCanadatofindthepermissivelimits

of casting the burden of proof on the accused accepted by various


jurisdictions.Oneoftheareaswheresuchpresumptionsareraisedisin

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respectofproofofnegativefacts.TheEnglishCourtofAppealinRvs.
Edwards64,whilstconsideringtheprovisionsoftheLicenceActof1964,

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heldthatwhentheaccusedwasconvictedofsellingintoxicatingliquor
withoutalicence,theburdenwasonthedefendant(accused)toprove
that he held a licence and as he had not done so, he was rightly
convicted. After following a number of precedents on the statutory
exceptions, the Court held that it was no part of the duty of the
prosecutiontoproveanegativefactthattheaccuseddidnothavea
licence.Theotherareaiswheretheparticularfactiswithinthespecial
knowledge of the accused. Criminal courts are familiar with the
problempresentedbytheproofofapurposeforwhichanactisdone,
wheneversuchpurposeisanecessaryingredientofthe offencewith
64 [1974]2 All ER 1085 at 1095

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whichtheaccusedischarged.Generally,intheabsenceofanexpress

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admission by the accused, the purpose with which he did the act

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complainedofisamatterofinferencefromwhatheactuallydid.Ong
AhChuanvs.PublicProsecutor65wasacasearisinginconnectionwith
the Drugs Act of Singapore which raised a statutory presumption,
wheneverthequantityofacontrolleddrugwasfoundtobebeyonda

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certainquantity(presumablycommensuratewithselfconsumption),of
thedrugbeingpossessedforthepurposeoftraffickinginprohibited
drug(heroin,inthatcase). Iftheaccusedisfoundinpossessionof

controlled drugs and to have been moving them from one place to
another,themereactofmovingdidnotofitselfamounttotrafficking

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undertheAct.Butifthepurposeforwhichtheywerebeingmovedwas
totransferpossession from the mover tosomeotherperson attheir

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intendeddestination,themoverwasguiltyoftheoffenceoftrafficking
under Section 3of thatAct. If the quantityof the controlleddrugs
beingmovedwasinexcessofacertainminimumspecifiedinSection
15, a rebuttable presumption was created that the purpose of such
movingwastosotransferpossession.Theonuslieduponthemoverto
satisfytheCourt,uponbalanceofprobabilities,thathehadnotactually
intendedtopartwiththepossessionofthedrugstoanyoneelse,butto
retainthemsolelyforhisownconsumption.ThePrivyCouncilupheld
theconvictionholdingthatthematerialbeforetheCourt,namely,that
thepersonwasfoundinpossessionofandmovingacertainquantityof
65 [1980]3 W.L.R. 855

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drugs beyond the permissible limit was logically probative of the

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purposeoftransferringpossession.Thepossessionofprohibiteddrugs

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wasinitselfunlawful,butmoreheinouswasthecrimeoftraffickingin

suchdrugs. Upontheprosecutionprovingthatcertainactsconsistent
withthepurposeoftrafficking(i.e.transferringpossessiontoanother)
werecommittedbytheaccused,namely,carryingofaquantityoverthe

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permissible limit consistent with selfconsumption, there is nothing


wrong with the presumption of the purpose behind carrying such
quantity.Thepurposewithwhichhedidtheactispeculiarlywithinhis

knowledgeandtherewasnothingunfairinrequiringhimtosatisfythe
Courtthathedidtheactwithsomeotherlessheinouspurposeifsuch

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be thefact. LordDiplockheldthatpresumptionsofthiskindarea
commonfeatureofmodernlegislationconcerningpossessionanduseof

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things that present danger to society like additive drugs, explosives,


armsandammunition,andaccordingly,upheldthevalidityofSection
15asbeingconsistentwiththeconstitution.

210.

Another important consideration is the level of difficulty,

sometimes a virtual impossibility, for the prosecution to fulfill the


burden,andthecorrespondingorrelativeeasefortheaccusedtobear
theburdenofprovingtheopposite.InAttorneyGeneralofHongKong
vs.LeeKwongKut66,theCourtwasconcernedwithconvictionofone
accusedunderSection30oftheSummaryOffencesOrdinanceofHong
66 [1993]3 All ER 940

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Kong,whichprovidedfortheoffenceofbeinginpossessionofwhatis

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Section30wasinthefollowingterms:

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reasonably suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

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Any person who is brought before a magistrate


chargedwithhavinginhispossessionorconveyingin
any manner anything which may be reasonably
suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully
obtained,andwhodoesnotgiveanaccount,tothe
satisfaction of the magistrate, how he came by the
same, shall be liable to a fine of $1,000 or to
imprisonmentfor3months.
Whatwasallegedinthecasewasthatthefirstrespondent

had,onaparticulardayandatanamedplace,inhispossessioncashof
$HK1.76m,reasonablysuspectedofhavingbeenstolenorunlawfully

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obtained.TheCourtwasalsoconcernedwithanotheraccusedcharged
underSection25ofDrugTrafficking(RecoveryofProceeds)Ordinance

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ofHongKong,whichprovidedforanoffenceofenteringintoorbeing
concernedinanarrangementtofacilitateretentionorcontrolofsale
proceedsofdrugtraffickingonbehalfofthetrafficker.Subsection(1)
of Section 25 defined the offence. A person who enters into or is
otherwise concerned in an arrangement whereby the retention or
control by or on behalf of another (the relevant person) of the
relevantperson'sproceedsofdrugtraffickingisfacilitated,knowingor
having reasonable grounds to believe that the relevant person is a
person who carries on or has carried on drug trafficking or has
benefitedfromdrugtrafficking,commitstheoffenceunderSection25.

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The section thus created an offence, which involved an absolute

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prohibition on engaging in the activities referred to therein with

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someonewhomonekneworhadreasonablegroundstobelieveasa
personwhocarriedonorbenefitedfromdrugtrafficking.Therewere

exceptionsprovidedforinSubsection(3)andaspecialdefencewas
containedinSubsection(4).Theexceptionsweredisclosuresmadeby

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theaccusedinaccordancewithsubsection(3)toanauthorizedofficer
ofanysuspicionorbeliefthatanyfundsorinvestmentswerederived
fromorusedindrugtrafficking.IfdisclosuresintermsofsubSection

(3) were made, the person doing an act in contravention with sub
section(1) could not be said to have committed the offence. Sub

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section(4)providedforaspecialdefence,namely,adefencetoprove
either that (a) the accused did not know or suspect that the

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arrangementrelatedtoproceedsofdrugtraffickingor(b)hedidknow
thatbysucharrangementtheretentionorcontrolbyoronbehalfofthe
trafficker was facilitated or (c) he actually intended to make a
disclosureundersubsection(3)butthattherewasareasonableexcuse
for his failure to do so. Both accused were convicted and their
convictionswereupheld,buttheHighCourtquashedtheindictmentin
both the cases on the ground that the convictions were violative of
Article11oftheBillofRights.(Article11(1)oftheHongKongBillof
Rightsprovided:Everyonechargedwithacriminaloffenceshallhave
the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to

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law.)OnappealbytheAttorneyGeneral,thePrivyCouncilupheldthe

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judgmentinthefirstcase,butsetasidetheconvictioninthesecond

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case.AfteranalysingtherespectiveSections(Sections25and30)and
Article 11(1)of the Bill of Rights, the Privy Council held that the

substantive effect of the statutory provisions in respect of the first


accused(underSection30)wastoplacetheonusonhimtoestablish

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hisinnocentpossessionoftheproperty,whichwasthemostsignificant
element of the offence. It actually reduced the burden on the
prosecutiontoprovepossessionbythedefendantandfactsfromwhich

areasonablesuspicioncanbeinferredthatthepropertyhadbeenstolen
orobtainedunlawfully,matterswhicharelikelytobeaformalityina

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majorityofcases.Therefore,itwasheldthatSection30contravened
Article 11(1) of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. But with regard to

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Section25,itwasheldthattheonuswasontheprosecution. Unless
the prosecution proved that the defendant has been involved in a
transactioninvolvingtherelevantperson'sproceedsofdrugtrafficking
withinthewidetermsofSection25(2)andthatatthattimehehadthe
necessaryknowledgeorhadreasonablegroundstobelievethespecified
facts,thedefendantwasentitledtobeacquitted. ThePrivyCouncil
heldasfollows:

The language of s 25 makes the purpose of the


sectionclear.Itisdesignedtomakeitmoredifficult
forthoseengagedinthedrugtradetodisposeofthe
proceeds of their illicit traffic without the

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transactions coming to the knowledge of the


authorities. Once apersonhasknowledge or has
reasonablegroundstobelievethatarelevantperson
carriesonorhascarriedondrugtraffickingorhas
benefitedfromdrugtrafficking,thenitwillbean
offence to become involved with 'the relevant
person'inanyofthewiderangingactivitiesreferred
tointhesection,unlesstheactivityisreportedin
accordance with subs (3) or the person who
engagesintheactivityisinapositiontoestablish
the defence provided for in s 25(4). The section
therefore creates an offence, which involves an
absolute prohibition on engaging in the activities
referredtointhesectionwithsomeonewhomyou
know or have reasonable grounds to believe is a
person who carries on or has carried on or has
benefited from drug trafficking, subject to an
exceptioncontainedins25(3)andaspecialdefence
contained in subs (4). Section 25 is an offence
whichfallswithintheclassesreferredtobyLawton
LJ in the passage cited from his judgment in R v
Edwards.

The Privy Council, whilst analyzing the application of

Article11(1)oftheHongKongBillofRights,observedthattheArticle

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didnotprohibitpresumptionsoffactoroflaw,whichoperateinevery
legalsystem,andhadanimplicitdegreeofflexibilityinthatbehalf.It
furtherheldasfollows:

Thisimplicitflexibilityallowsabalancetobedrawn
betweentheinterestofthepersonchargedandthe
state.Therearesituationswhereitisclearlysensible
and reasonable that deviations should be allowed
fromthestrictapplicationsoftheprinciplethatthe
prosecutionmustprovethedefendant'sguiltbeyond
reasonabledoubt. Take an obvious example in the
caseofanoffenceinvolvingtheperformanceofsome
actwithouta licence. Common sensedictatesthat
the prosecution should not be required to shoulder
the virtually impossible task of establishing that a
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defendant has not a licence when it is a matter of


comparative simplicity for a defendant to establish
thathehasalicence. Thepositionisthesamewith
regardtoinsanity,whichwasoneoftheexceptions
identified by Viscount Sankey LC in the passage in
WoolmingtonvDPP[1935]AC462at481,[1935]
AllERRep1at8whichhasalreadybeencited.The
otherqualificationwhichViscountSankeyLCmadeas
to statutory exceptions clearly has to be qualified
whengivingeffecttoaprovisionsimilartoart11(1).

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Someexceptionswillbejustifiable,otherswill
not. Whether they are justifiable will in the end
depend upon whether it remains primarily the
responsibilityoftheprosecutiontoprovetheguiltof
anaccusedtotherequiredstandardandwhetherthe
exceptionisreasonablyimposed,notwithstandingthe
importance of maintaining the principle which art
11(1) enshrines. The less significant the departure
fromthe normalprinciple,the simpleritwillbe to
justify an exception. If the prosecution retains
responsibilityforprovingtheessentialingredientsof
theoffence,thelesslikelyitisthatanexceptionwill
beregardedasunacceptable.Indecidingwhatarethe
essential ingredients, the language of the relevant
statutoryprovisionwillbeimportant.However,what
willbedecisivewillbethesubstance andrealityof
thelanguagecreatingtheoffenceratherthanitsform.
If the exception requires certain matters to be
presumeduntilthecontraryisshown,thenitwillbe
difficult to justify that presumption unless, as was
pointedoutbythe UnitedStatesSupremeCourtin
LearyvUS(1969)395US6at36,'itcanatleastbe
saidwithsubstantialassurancethatthepresumedfact
ismorelikelythannottoflowfromtheprovedfact
onwhichitismadetodepend'.

211.

The foregoing discussion also shows that for a reverse

burdentobeupheldasapermissiblelimitationuponthepresumption
ofinnocence,whatisimportantistoseeiftheprosecutionhasproved
the basic foundational facts, which have a rational connection with

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presumedfacts,soastomakethemhighlyprobable.Insuchacase,it

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maybelegitimatetocasttheburdenofdisplacingthosepresumedfacts

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ontheaccused,keepinginmindthevariousconsiderationsdiscussed
above,suchastheruleagainstdischargingofanegativeburden,the
rule for discharging of a positive burden of establishing facts within
one'speculiarknowledge,therelativeeaseofdischargingsuchburden,

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etc. Inthecaseof R.vs.Oakes67 consideredbyourSupremeCourtin


thecaseofP.N.KrishnaLal(supra),theCanadianSupremeCourtwas
considering the constitutionality of the presumption engrafted in

Section8oftheNarcoticControlAct,1970ofCanadaontheanvilof
Section11(d)oftheCanadianCharterofRightsandFreedoms,which

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guaranteedthe presumption ofinnocence tothe accused. Section8


required that in any prosecution for the offence of possession of a

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narcoticforthepurposeoftrafficking(providedbySection4(2)ofthat
Act),iftheCourtfoundtheaccusedtobeinpossessionofthenarcotic
(whichwasitselfanoffenceunderSection3ofthatAct),hewouldbe
givenanopportunityofestablishingthathewasnotinpossessionofthe
narcoticforthepurposeoftraffickingandifhefailedtosoestablish,he
would be convicted of the (higher) offence of trafficking and be
sentenced accordingly. The Court struck down the Section since it
established a mandatory presumption of law and by using the word
'establish' imposed a legal burden of proof on the accused and not
merelyanevidentiaryburden,byrequiringtheaccusedtoproveonthe
67 26 DLR (4th) 200

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balanceofprobabilitiesthathewasnotinpossessionofthenarcotic

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drugforthepurposeoftrafficking,itcompelledhimtoprovethathe

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was not guilty of the offence of trafficking. It was held that the
Sectionfailedtorationalisetheconnectionbetweenthebasicfactof
possession and the presumed fact of possession for the purpose of

212.

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traffickingofpersonsguiltyofpossessiononlyofnarcoticdrugs.

To the similar effect is the judgment of the American

SupremeCourtin Morrisonetal.vs.PeopleofStateofCalifornia 68

referredtobyourSupremeCourtinP.N.KrishnaLal.Thatwasacase
wheretheindictmentchargedthatthetwoappellantshadfeloniously

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conspiredtoplaceaperson,whowassaidtobeanalienJapanese,in
thepossessionandenjoymentofagriculturallandwithintheStateof

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California,whichwasprohibitedunderthestatutesoftheState.Onthe
trial,theStateprovedthat theparticularperson(whowassaidtobe
analien)hadgoneuponthelandanduseditunderanagreementwith
theappellant,butdidnotattempttoprovethathewasnotacitizenof
UnitedStatesorthathewasineligibleforcitizenship.Thestatutesof
California provided that as to this particular element of the crime
(namely,the personnotbeingacitizenoreligibletobeacitizenof
UnitedStates)theburdenofprovingthesamewasonthedefendant.
The observationsofCadozo,J.in thatcase,quotedbyourSupreme
CourtinP.N.KrishnaLal,arequotedbelow:
68 291 U.S. 82 (1934)

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The decisions are manifold that within limits of reason


andfairnessthe burdenofproof maybelifted fromthe
stateincriminalprosecutionsandcastonadefendant.The
limits are in substance these, that the state shall have
proved enough to make it just for the defendant to be
required to repel what has been proved with excuse or
explanation, or at least that upon a balancing of
convenience or of the opportunities for knowledge the
shifting oftheburdenwillbefound to beanaid to the
accuser without subjecting the accused to hardship or
oppression.

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This,then,givesusonemoretesttoevaluatethevalidityof
astatutorypresumption. HastheStateprovedenoughbasicfactsto
raise a presumption, considering the probative connection between

thesebasicfactsandthefactspresumedonthebasisthereof,soasto
make it just for the defendant to be required to displace such

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presumption?Itisnotwithintheprovinceofalegislaturetodeclarean
individualpresumptivelyguiltyofacrime,butitislegitimatetodraw
presumptionsonthebasisoffactsprovedbytheStateandrequirethe

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accusedtodisplacethem. 'Thesepresumptionsarenotevidenceina
propersense',asobservedinthecaseofP.N.KrishnaLal,'butsimply
regulationsoftheburdenofproof'.

213.

Wemaynowsummarizethevarioustestswhichwehave

discussedabovefor sustainingareverseburdeninacriminaltrialas
constitutionallyvalid.Theyareasfollows:

(i)

Is the State required to prove enough basic or


essentialfactsconstitutingacrimesoastoraisea

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presumption of balance facts (considering the

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probativeconnectionbetweenthesebasicfactsand
thepresumedfacts)tobringhometheguiltofthe
ontheaccused?
(ii)

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accused,andtodisprovewhichtheburdeniscast

Does the proof of these balance facts involve a

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burdentoproveanegativefact?
(iii)

Are these balance facts within the special


knowledgeoftheaccused?
Doesthisburden,consideringtheaspectofrelative

(iv)

easefortheaccusedtodischargeitortheStateto

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prove otherwise, subject the accused to any


hardshiporoppression?

Onlywhenthesetestsaresatisfied,canonesaythatthe

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casting of the particular burden does not detract from fairness or


reasonablenessorjustnessofthetrial.Onlythenwoulditpassthetest
ofArticle14intrinsictotheguaranteeofArticle21.

214.

We may now consider the statute in question, namely,

Section9B,toseeifitsatisfiesthesetests.Letusfirsttaketheoffences
ofSections5Cand5DoftheAct.Section5C,aswehavenotedabove
whilstdealingwiththeconstitutionalvalidityoftherelevantSections,
makespossessionofthefleshofanycow,bullorbullockslaughteredin

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contraventionoftheprovisionsoftheActanoffence,whilstSection5D

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makespossessionofthefleshofanycow,bullorbullockslaughtered

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outsidetheStateofMaharashtraanoffence.Thus,thesetwoprovisions,
betweenthem,exhaustallcasesofpossessionofbovineflesh,eachof
whichamountstoanoffence. Inotherwords,themomentanyoneis
foundtobeinpossessionofbovinefleshintheStateofMaharashtra,

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irrespective of where the slaughter has taken place, such person


commits an offence under the Act and a uniform punishment is
provided for under the Act for such offence. What is, thus, in

contraventionoftheActistheverypossessionofbovineflesh.Ifthat
bethecase,Section9B,inasmuchasitcaststheburdenofprovingthat

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thepossessionofsuchfleshwasnotincontraventionoftheAct,makes
nopracticalsenseonthetermsofSections5Cand5Dontheonehand

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and Section 9B, on the other. Considering, however, that we have


interpretedSections5Cand5Dtoapplyonlytoconsciouspossession
ofbovineflesh,theknowledgeofsuchpossessionmaybesaidtobe
another ingredient of offences thereunder. In that case, if the
prosecutionprovesthepossessionoftheaccused,theaccusedmaybe
saidtohavetheburdenofprovingthathedidnotknowthattheflesh
wasofacow,bullorbullock.Thatmeansaburdentoproveanegative
fact. It is unthinkable how, even by the test of preponderance of
probabilities, the accused can reasonably or fairly be expected to
dischargethisburdenbeyondpossiblyhisownstatementinthewitness

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boxthathedidnotknowthatitwasbovineflesh. Greaterdifficulty

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wouldbefacedifonthebasisofpossessionofsuchflesh,theStatewere

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toprosecutehimforanoffenceunderSection5C,thatistosay,for
possession of the flesh of a cow, bull or bullock slaughtered in

contraventiontotheAct,i.e.inMaharashtra.Prayhowistheaccusedto
dischargetheonusofprovingthathedidknowthattheanimalwas

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slaughtered in contravention of the Act? Not only does the burden


placedonhimoffendtheruleagainstburdentoproveanegativefact,it
alsosubjectstheaccusedtoagreathardshipandoppression,whichis

notcommensuratewiththebalanceofdifficultyfacedrespectivelyby
theprosecutionandtheaccusedinestablishingtheingredientsofthe

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offenceorthelackthereof. Itisrelativelyeasyfortheprosecutionto
beartheburdenofestablishingthattheslaughterwasincontravention

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of the Act than for the accused to bear the burden of showing
otherwise.Besides,theessenceoftheoffenceunderSection5Cconsists
ofpossessionofbovinefleshwhichisproducedoutofcontraventionof
theAct,i.e.byslaughterwithintheState.Howcanthisessentialfact
belefttotheaccusedtocontrovert?Thebasisofanypresumptionin
lawinacriminaltrial,aswehaveseenabove,isthesubstantialcausal
orprobativeconnectionbetweenthefactsfoundprovedandthefacts
presumed. Thatconnectionisabsentinthiscase. Merelybecausea
person is found in possession of bovine flesh does not make his
knowledgeofslaughterwithintheStateinanywayprobable. There

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are many countries where slaughter of a cow, bull or bullock is not

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illegal. Even within India, there are States where such slaughter is

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perfectlylegal.Infact,theonlyslaughterwhichisincontraventionof
theActistheslaughterwithinMaharashtra. Nowifapersonwereto
obtainbeeffromtheseotherCountriesorStatesinIndia,canitbesaid
thathismerepossessionmustleadtoapresumption oftheplaceof

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slaughter being within Maharashtra? Or for that matter, to a


presumptionofhisknowledgeofsuchslaughterwithinMaharashtra?If
bovine flesh from different sources, i.e. from slaughters outside the

Stateas wellaswithintheState,isavailableinthemarket,thereis
practicallynowayofdistinguishingonefleshfromtheother.Thereis

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absolutely no question of fastening any presumed knowledge of

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slaughterwithintheStateontheaccused.

215.

Initswrittensubmissions,theStatehastakenupaposition

thatonaconjointreadingofSections9Aand9B,inatrialofanoffence
undertheAct,twofoundationalfactswouldhavetobeestablishedby
theprosecution,viz.(a)theflesh isofananimalprotectedunderthe
Actand(b)theaccusedisfoundinpossessionofthesame;andonce
thesefoundationalfactsareestablished,theburdenwouldshiftonthe
accusedtoshowthattheslaughterwasnotincontraventionoftheAct.
Aswehaveshownabove,theprooftenderedbytheStateisnotenough
toleadtoapresumptionthattheslaughterwasincontraventionofthe

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Act. Theprovedfoundationalfactsdonothaveasufficientprobative

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connection with the presumed fact of the slaughter being in

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contravention of the Act. Besides, as we have discussed above, the


burdencastontheaccusedistoproveanegativefact,nothingofwhich
canbesaidtobewithinhisspecialknowledge.Castingofsuchburden
amountstosubjectingtheaccusedtogravehardshipandoppression.At

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the hearing, however, the learned Advocate General practically


conceded that all these ingredients, namely, (i) the flesh being of a
protectedanimal,(ii)thepossessionoftheaccusedofsuchflesh,and

(iii)slaughteroftheprotectedanimalwithintheStateforproducing
suchflesh,wouldhave tobe establishedbythe prosecution.Weare

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afraid that is not how Section 9B is worded. As framed by the


legislature,itdoescasttheburdenofprovingthenegativeofthethird

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ingredient on the accused, and as such is unconstitutional.


ConstitutionalitycannotbeamatterofconcessionbytheStateatthe
hearing.Besides,ifalltheseingredientsweretobeestablishedbythe
prosecution,thereispracticallynocontentinSection9B.Wemightas
well disregard it entirely, as even the only other ingredient of
'knowledge'alsocannotbeamatterofpresumption.Allcases,where
knowledge or, in other words, mens rea, imputed to the accused is
accepted as constitutionally valid, are cases where the substances
themselvesaresoobnoxiousorharmfulthatmerepossessionleadsto
thepresumptionofaharmfulpurposeandknowledgeofsuchharmful

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purpose.Forexample,thesepresumptionsareappliedtopossessionof

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deadlyfirearms,narcoticorpsychotropicsubstances. Thatisnotthe

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casewithbeef.NoonehastoldusattheBar,inthefirstplace,ofthere
beinganywayofdistinguishingthefleshofcow,bullorbullockfrom
thefleshofotherbovinespecies,e.g.buffalo.Itisinconceivablethatan
ordinaryconsumerwouldknowthedifference.Ontopofit,theState

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wouldhavetheCourtpresumenotjusttheknowledgeoftheaccusedof
thenatureoftheflesh,namely,ofananimalprotectedundertheAct,
but even the manner of its production, namely, by slaughter in

contraventionoftheAct,andcasttheburdenofshowingotherwise,a

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purenegativefact,ontheaccused.Thisisclearlyimpermissible.

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216.

ThesameisalsotrueofoffencesunderSections5Aand5B.

Section5Aprohibitsthetransportofacow,bullorbullockfromany
placewithintheStatetoanyplaceoutsidetheState'forthepurposeof
itsslaughterincontraventionoftheprovisionsoftheAct'or'withthe
knowledgethatitwillbe,orislikelytobe,soslaughtered',andmakes
such transport an offence. Transporting of cattle (i.e. cow, bull or
bullock)perseevenifitbewiththeknowledgethatsuchtransportis
forsaleoutsidetheStatecanhardlyevermaketheknowledgeofits
slaughter(andforthatmatter,itsslaughterwithintheState),ifsuchbe
the case, out of such sale, probable. The two have no probative

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connection. Once again, the essence of the offence consists in the

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purposeofsuchtransportorthe knowledge thatthe transportisfor

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slaughterincontraventionoftheAct.Thatitselfcannotbepresumedor
belefttotheaccusedtodisprove.Inotherwords,byprovingthefact
oftransportperse,theStatedoesnotproveenoughofbasicoressential
factstoraiseapresumptionoftheintendedultimatepurposeofthe

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transportoritsknowledge.Secondly,asinthecaseofoffencesunder
Sections5Cand5D,whatiscastontheaccusedistheburdentoprove
purelynegativefacts,namely,thattheultimateintendedpurposeofthe

transportwasnottoslaughterthecow,bullorbullockincontravention
oftheActorthattheaccuseddidnotknowthatsuchpurposewasto

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slaughter the animal in contravention of the Act. Such a burden is


clearlyunreasonableandsubjectstheaccusedtoagravehardshipand

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oppression. All these considerations squarely apply even to sale or


disposalofacow,bullorbullockcoveredwithinSection5B.Tocasta
burdenontheaccused,aftertheStatesimplyestablishesthesaleor
disposaloftheanimalbyhim,toprovethatsuchsaleordisposalwas
notforslaughterorwithknowledgeofsuchslaughterorwithreasonto
believethattheanimalwouldbeslaughtered,doesnotsatisfyanyof
thetestsforvalidityofareverseburden.

217.

Sections 5 and 6 prohibit slaughter or causing to be

slaughteredor(underSection5)offeringforslaughterany(a)cow,bull

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andbullock,or(b)scheduledanimalwithoutthecertificatereferredto

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inSection6(underSection6),inanyplaceintheStateofMaharashtra.

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Sections 9 and 9A, respectively, make the same punishable. The

ingredientsoftheoffenceunderSections5and6readwithSections9
and 9A are (1) slaughtering or causing to be slaughtered or (under
Section 5) offering for slaughter any cow, bull or bullock or (under

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Section6)anyscheduledanimal,(2)suchslaughterbeinginanyplace
in the State of Maharashtra and (3) in the case of Section 6, such
slaughter being without obtaining the certificate referred to in that

Section.Thesearenecessarilyfoundationalfacts,theonustoestablish
which,itisnotdisputedbythelearnedAdvocateGeneral,liessquarely

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ontheState.Ifso,thereisnofurtheringredienttobeestablishedbythe
prosecutionordisprovedbythedefence.Onthisanalysis,Section9B

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insofarasitappliestotheoffencesunderSections5and6readwith,
respectively,Sections9 and 9Ahas practically nocontent. If,onthe
otherhand,ifanyofthesefoundationalfactsaretobepresumedand
onus to disprove them is cast on the accused, the provisions would
attractthesameviceasinthecaseoftheotheroffencesunderSections
5A,5B,5Cand5DreadwithSections9and9A,asdiscussedabove.The
burdenofproofcastontheaccusedreadwiththedefinitionsofthe
crimesunderSections5and6,wouldfaileverytestsetoutaboveto
determinethevalidityofanegativeburden.Thereasonsdiscussedin
respectofSections5A,5B,5Cand5Dsquarelyapplyinthecaseof

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Hence,theprocedureprescribedbySection9Bforthetrial

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218.

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Sections5and6insofarastheburdenofproofisconcerned.

ofoffencescannotbesaidtobefair,justandreasonable. Wemust,
therefore,holdSection9BasunconstitutionalwhichinfringesArticle21

219.

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oftheConstitutionofIndia.

I concur with the views expressed by A.S.Oka, J on the

PerCourt

Before we part with the judgment, we must record our

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220.

otheraspectsofthecase.

appreciation for the assistance rendered by all the learned counsel

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appearingfor the parties. Mostof them were very brief and to the
point. WemustnotethatShriJha,thelearnedcounselappearingfor
one of the Intervenors made a submission on 23 rd December 2015,
whichwasthelastworkingdaybeforetheChristmasVacation,when
thehearingwasconductedwiththeconsentofthepartiestill6.30p.m.
During the course of the arguments, after the Court hour on 23 rd
December2015,heurgedthatwhenalargenumberoflitigantsare
waitinginaqueue,itwasagraveerroronthepartofthisCourttohave
givenprioritytothehearingofthisgroupofPetitions. Hehadtosay
somethingabouttherecusalofalearnedJudgewhowasapartofthe

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Benchhearingthisgroup.HepointedoutthatafteronelearnedJudge

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(G.S.Patel,J)whowasapartoftheDivisionBenchhearingthismatter

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recusedhimself,anewBenchwasimmediatelyconstituted.Wemust

noteherethatG.S.Patel,Jrecusedhimselffollowinghighesttraditions
maintainedbythisCourt.Hehadwrittenanarticleasamemberofthe
BaronasimilarstatuteofanotherStateinwhichhehadexpressedhis

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own views on the subject. We thought that this gesture will be


appreciatedbythemembersoftheBar. Wemustrecordherethatin
someofthemattersformingpartofthisgroup,therewasalreadyan

orderofaCoordinateBenchforgivingoutofturnprioritytothefinal
hearingof the WritPetitionsandin factaperemptorydate forfinal

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hearingwasfixed.Apartfromthat,theHon'bletheActingChiefJustice
byanorderdated17th November2015constitutedthisSpecialBench

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forhearingthisgroupofPetitions.ItisobviousthattheSpecialBench
wasconstitutedwithaviewtoensurethatthereisearlydisposalofthis
groupofmatters.
CONCLUSIONS:

221.

Now, we summarize our conclusions drawn in separate

Judgments.Theconclusionsareasunder:

(a) We uphold the constitutional validity of the


amendmentto Section 5of the Animal Preservation

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ActmadebytheimpugnedAmendmentAct;

and5B;

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(b) WeupholdtheconstitutionalvalidityofSections 5A

(c) We uphold the constitutional validity of Section 5C.

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However,thepossessioncontemplatedbySection5C
shallbeconsciouspossession. Itwillbeapossession
withtheknowledgethatthefleshisofcow,bullor

bullock which is slaughtered in contravention of

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Section5oftheAnimalPreservationAct;

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(d) Weholdthatrightofprivacyisapartofthepersonal
libertyguaranteedbyArticle21oftheConstitutionof
India. WeholdthatSection5Dinfringestherightof
privacywhichispartofArticle21oftheConstitution
ofIndiaandtherefore,itisliabletobestruckdown;

(e) Accordingly,referencetoSection5Dinclause(b)of
Subsection (3) of Section 8 is liable to be struck
down.Similarly,areferencetoSection5DinSection
9Aisliabletostruckdown;

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The provisions of Section 9B are held to be

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(f)

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unconstitutional being violative of Article 21 of the


Constitution of India and, therefore, Section 9B is
liabletobestruckdown;

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(g) We hold that all other Sections which were subject


matterofchallengearelegalandvalid.

Hence,wedisposeofthePetitionsbypassingthefollowing

222.

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order:

(a)

ORDER:

WeherebyholdanddeclarethatSection5,Section
5A,Section5B,Section5C,Subsections(3)and(4)

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of Section 8, Section 9 and Section 9A of the


Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act,1976 as

amended/inserted by the Maharashtra Act No.V of


2015areconstitutional,validandlegal;

(b)

However,weholdthatthepossessionintermsofthe
Section 5C of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation
Act,1976shallbeconsciouspossession;

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Section 5D of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation

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(c)

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Act,1976isstruckdownonthegroundthatthesame

infringes the fundamental right guaranteed under


Article21oftheConstitutionofIndia;

Accordingly,whereverthereisareferencetoSection

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(d)

5D in other Sections of the Maharashtra Animal

(e)

PreservationAct,1976,thesamestandsdeleted;

Section 9B of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation

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Act, 1976 is struck down as it infringes the


fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21 of the

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ConstitutionofIndia;

(f)

Theprayerswhicharenotspecificallygrantedshall
bedeemedtoberejected;

(g)

TheRuleispartlymadeabsoluteinabovetermswith
noordersastocosts;

(h)

All the Pending Chamber Summonses, Notices of


MotionandtheCivilApplicationsaredisposedof.

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Atthisstage,thelearnedGovernmentPleaderseeksstayof

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223.

245

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thatpartofthejudgmentbywhichSections5Dand9Bareheldtobe
unconstitutional.ShriJha,thelearnedcounselappearingforoneofthe
Intervenors joins Shri Vagyani, the Government Pleader. We have
declaredthesaidSectionsunconstitutionalastheyinfringeArticle21of

(A.S.OKA,J)

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(S.C.GUPTE,J)

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theConstitutionofIndia.Therefore,theprayerforstayisrejected.

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