The Supreme Court on Friday said that its holding of the right to privacy to be a fundamental right could have some bearing on the hearing of a batch of petitions including by Maharashtra government challenging the Bombay High Court verdict permitting the possession and eating of beef brought from outside the state.
“Yes, that judgment may have some bearing on these matters,” the bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan said as senior counsel Chander Uday Singh urged the bench to give them time to study the judgment by the nine judge bench which may have bearing on their matter.
The judgment pronounced by a nine-judge bench on Thursday has held that the right to privacy was a fundamental right.
Chander Uday singh who appeared for a Mumbai-based lawyer Haresh Jagtiani referred to Justice J.Chelameswar’s judgment on privacy which said: “I do not think that anybody would like to be told by the State as to what they should eat or how they should dress …”
Appearing for some other petitioners, senior counsel Indira Jaising told the court that 2005 majority judgment (6-1) by a seven judge bench had wrongly decided in favour of complete prohibition on the slaughter of cows and calves including other milch and draught cattle.
She said that Mirzapur judgment as 2005 judgment is commonly known in legal circles needs to be relooked and urged the court to pass necessary orders.
At this, the bench said that it would consider whether this should be sent to a larger bench.
While permitting the possession and eating of beef brought from outside Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court had by its May 6, 2016, judgment had uphold the ban imposed by the state government on the slaughtering and sale of beef within the state.
The Maharashtra government had moved the top court on August 10 challenging this verdict.
The top court is hearing a batch of cross petitions including one by Akhil Bharat Krishi Go Sewa Sangh, which questioned the high court judgment holding that the right to eat was a fundamental right forming a part of right to privacy.