BMC stop animal sacrifice

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To, 

Shri, Ajoy Mehta, IAS,
The Municipal Commissioner,
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai

Sub: Stop abetting illegal and immoral animal sacrifice 

Dear Sir,

The Mumbai Municipal Corporation whose Municipal Commissioner you are,  has by way of public notice no. PRO/662/ADV/18-19 informed citizens that the corporation is making goats available for "Bakri Eid sacrifice"*.  Another public notice of your corporation no. PRO/689/ADV/18-19 goes thus - "Public in specific who are intending to sacrifice Sheep/Goats on occasion of Bakri Idd 2018 are informed that under section 403 (2)(e) of MMC Act, 1888, permission to slaughter Sheep/Goats outside Deonar Abattoir is being granted through 'Online' system...". Public is requested to go to the following link for further information and instructions.  Photographic images of the two notices are available here.

You are requested to withdraw these two notices that we allege are ultra vires, illegal and without doubt abet a most barbaric and immoral practice for reasons including but not limited to the following:-

1. The Supreme Court in a judgement has observed "The poignantly pathological grip of macabre superstitions on some crude Indian minds in the shape of desire to do... animal sacrifice, in defiance of the scientific ethos of our cultural heritage and the scientific impact of our technological century shows up in crimes of primitive horror... to propitiate some bloodthirsty deity...". (Paras Ram Vs. State of Punjab, October 09,1973)

2. According to Article 21 of the Constitution of India right to life can only be deprived as laid down in law. (See para 62 of Supreme Court of India, Animal Welfare Board Of India vs A. Nagaraja & Ors on 7 May, 2014)

3. A non-human animal can be deprived of his/her life only for purposes as laid down in Section 11 (3) of PCA Act 1960, “Bakri Eid sacrifice” isn’t one of them. 

4.  Section 28 of PCA Act 1960 deals with “manner” of killing and not “purpose”.

5.  "Bakri Eid sacrifice" is not mentioned as exempt practice in Section 12 of Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013 and thus actionable under it. 

6. Animals can only be killed for food in a “registered/licensed” establishment, by trained personnel, who perform the job without causing unnecessary suffering to the animal using professional tools, lay non-professional persons slaughtering an animal causes it unnecessary suffering which is immoral, unethical and illegal. Killing of animals and processing their meat in unregistered/ unlicensed places in unhygienic conditions is illegal under FSS Act 2006 & related rules & regulations and is dangerous to personal and public health

7. The authority for awarding such licenses/registrations rests with FSSAI or its designated representatives. 

8. Keeping of animals within BMC limits is banned except in compliance of norms as laid out in The Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888.

9. Thus the distribution of animals for "Bakri Eid sacrifice" is illegal being (a) unnecessarily cruel to animals (b) dangerous to human health (c) nuisance to law-abiding citizens (d) discriminates between various sections of citizens based on their religious beliefs (e) many these goats will be kept as family pets with children taking care of them, suddenly one day they are killed many a times children are encouraged to participate in the slaughter, a psychologically traumatic event for anyone especially young minds. It is dangerous to have crores of Indians to grow up desensitised to killing even their beloved innocent companion animals in the name of illegal religious superstition and thus a threat to law and order and national security.

10. Animal cruelty is a good indicator of a criminal mentality.

11. Also keeping of animals for any other purpose is illegal within Mumbai city limits except as provided under various sections of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888, particularly sections 316, 384, 384(A), 394, 394(A), 398 to 412 etc.

12. Powers of the Municipal Commissioner under Section 403 2(e) of MMC Act have been invoked, 1888. However FSSAI Act and PCA Acts are central acts whose provisions override these local Acts, and thus act of exercise of these powers is ultra vires.

13. So the BMC making animals available for "Bakri Eid sacrifice" is performing and abetting an illegal act by facilitating and permitting citizens to slaughter animals outside legal slaughter houses. 

(Image is representational, downloaded from Wikimedia commons and being used as per terms as set by the site and the person who uploaded the image.)

Yogesh Khandke & co-signatories 

 *Emphasis added 



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