fundamental rights

Right to privacy may affect beef ban in Maharashtra: Supreme Court

Beef Ban (File photo) Representational image

A day after the right to privacy was upheld as 'fundamental right', the Supreme Court on Friday observed that the landmark decision may affect the beef ban in Maharashtra.

This statement was made in the top court while hearing the appeal filed by the Maharashtra government against the Bombay High Court's decision to strike down the ban on possession of beef by citizens in the state.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, observed that the right to privacy might affect the beef ban in the state, but could not say till what extent.

Earlier in January, the Bombay High Court upheld the beef ban imposed by the state government after the enactment of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which bans slaughter of bulls and bullocks.

However, the court said the possession of the meat cannot be considered as a crime, while striking down the relevant sections of the act.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the Supreme Court overruled the M.P. Sharma (1962) and Kharak Singh (1954) judgement and held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in an unanimous decision (of the nine-judge bench).

The verdict was given as soon as the nine-judge Constitution bench of the apex court resumed the hearing on the case on Thursday morning.

On July 26, the Centre told the apex court that there is a fundamental right to privacy, which is a 'wholly qualified right' too.

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