Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Religion Rule of Law

Allahabad HC bats for tolerance, but refuses to strike down meat and liquor sale ban

The court held that as the ban only applied to 22 wards in Mathura Vrindavan, it was not a complete ban; also claims of harassment were just “bald sweeping statements”

Sabrangindia 20 Apr 2022

Allahabad HC

On March 28, 2022, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a Writ Petition against the Uttar Pradesh administration for banning the sale of meat and liquor in Mathura-Vrindavan region. However, in a display of appreciation for India’s pluralism the court observed, “India is a country of great diversity. It is absolutely essential if we wish to keep our country united to have tolerance and respect for all communities and sects.”

The High Court bench of Justices Pritinker Diwaker and Ashutosh Srivastava restricted itself from dwelling into the validity of the Notification and Order of the UP Government as the Petition filed does not challenge the same.

Background of the Case

State Government’s Order/Notification

The State Government of Uttar Pradesh under its Notification dated September 10, 2021 had notified 22 wards of Mathura Vrindavan Nagar Nigam as ‘Holy Place of Pilgrimage’. The notification had banned the sale of liquor and meat within a 10 square kilometers radius around Krishna Janmabhoomi in Vrindavan, Mathura.

On September 11, 2021 another consequential Order was passed by the Food Processing Officer, Food Safety and Drugs Administration, Mathura according to which the registration of shops selling meat and non-vegetarian restaurants were suspended with immediate effect.

About the petition

Shahida, a social worker, had filed a Writ Petition, later on styled as Public Interest Litigation (PIL), in High Court of Allahabad against the State Government’s decision to ban the sale of meat and liquor. This PIL was instituted for consideration of the representation (on behalf of the residents of the ward) addressed to the District Magistrate, Mathura.

In her representation she had sought relief against complete ban on running meat, fish, egg shops etc., and also sought relief against suspension of the license of shops, non-veg hotels etc., with immediate effect.

She had also sought directions for permitting easy transportation of such restricted materials from outside for weddings and other ceremonial functions. The representation also prayed that the local police should not harass the people involved in transporting the restricted materials from outside into the said 22 notified wards.

Since Shahida’s representation was not considered by the District Magistrate, Mathura, she had moved to the High Court of Allahabad for redressal of her grievance.

Arguments in the Court from both sides

It was contended before the Court that on account of such restrictions, the people residing in these wards are deprived of their right of choice of meals and also from carrying on their business and livelihood.

It was further argued that the restriction is in violation of Article 19 (1) (g) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Additional Adv. General, Manish Goyal assisted by Additional Chief Standing Counsel, A.K. Goyal submitted that Mathura and Vrindavan are prominent places having great historical and religious importance being the birth place and Kreeda Sthal of Lord Krishna.

In support of the state government’s order, the Counsel further submitted that the State Government with a view to maintain the historical, religious, tourism importance and above all the sanctity of the Holy places, the government issued a Notification dated September 10, 2021 declaring 22 Wards of Nagar Nigam Mathura Vrindavan to be "Holy Place of Pilgrimage".

The Counsel further bought the Court’s attention to the fact that the Petitioner had neither challenged the Notification (dated September 10, 2021) issued by the State Government nor the State Government Order (dated September 17, 2021) which imposes restriction on sale of meat, eggs, liquor etc.

In support to his argument that the no fundamental rights of Petitioner have been infringed by imposing reasonable restrictions, the Counsel referred to the case of Darshan Kumar and Ors v/s. The State of U.P. & Anr. (AIR 1997 Alld 209).  In the said case, the reasonable restrictions of Rishikesh Municipality were upheld, and which was also affirmed by the Apex Court in the case of Om Prakash & Ors. v/s. State of U.P. & Ors. reported in 2004 (3) SCC 402.

Court’s Observation

On March 28, 2022, the High Court opined that since there are no averments about the Notification dated September 10, 2021, and the Government Order September 17, 2021 issued by the State Government, the Petitioner was not aggrieved by the same. Hence, the Court did not dwell into the validity of the aforesaid Notification and the Government Order.

The Bench further stated that declaration of any particular place as ‘Holy Place of Pilgrimage’ is the privilege of the State and the same does not mean that any restriction has been imposed and the said act is illegal.

The Bench further stated, “This restriction has been imposed only with respect to 22 Wards and is not applicable to other Wards of the city. Thus, there is no complete ban. The allegation of the petitioner that State Authorities are harassing such consumers of the restricted material (meat, liquor and eggs) in transportation of the same is merely a bald and sweeping statement. No material has been brought on record to substantiate this allegation.”

The Bench also observed that no reliefs were prayed in regard to the violations of the fundamental rights taken up as grounds in the Writ Petition.

However, before dismissing the said plea, the Bench remarked, “India is a Country of great diversity. It is absolutely essential if we wish to keep our Country united to have tolerance and respect for all communities and sects. It was due to the wisdom of our founding fathers that we have a Constitution which is secular in character and which caters to all communities, sects lingual and ethnic groups etc., in the Country. It is the Constitution of India which is keeping us together despite all our tremendous diversity, because the Constitution gives equal respect to all communities, sects, lingual and ethnic groups etc., in the Country.”

The complete order may be read here: 

 

Related:

Ram Navami violence: PILs seek SC monitored investigations, transfer of cases to NIA

Same-sex marriage: Delhi HC asks Central Government to respond to the plea for live-streaming of proceedings

Gujarat HC rules on PASA Act, claims Preventive Detention untenable

Delhi HC asks for Centre’s opinion on declaring the Child Marriage ‘void ab initio’

Allahabad HC bats for tolerance, but refuses to strike down meat and liquor sale ban

The court held that as the ban only applied to 22 wards in Mathura Vrindavan, it was not a complete ban; also claims of harassment were just “bald sweeping statements”

Allahabad HC

On March 28, 2022, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a Writ Petition against the Uttar Pradesh administration for banning the sale of meat and liquor in Mathura-Vrindavan region. However, in a display of appreciation for India’s pluralism the court observed, “India is a country of great diversity. It is absolutely essential if we wish to keep our country united to have tolerance and respect for all communities and sects.”

The High Court bench of Justices Pritinker Diwaker and Ashutosh Srivastava restricted itself from dwelling into the validity of the Notification and Order of the UP Government as the Petition filed does not challenge the same.

Background of the Case

State Government’s Order/Notification

The State Government of Uttar Pradesh under its Notification dated September 10, 2021 had notified 22 wards of Mathura Vrindavan Nagar Nigam as ‘Holy Place of Pilgrimage’. The notification had banned the sale of liquor and meat within a 10 square kilometers radius around Krishna Janmabhoomi in Vrindavan, Mathura.

On September 11, 2021 another consequential Order was passed by the Food Processing Officer, Food Safety and Drugs Administration, Mathura according to which the registration of shops selling meat and non-vegetarian restaurants were suspended with immediate effect.

About the petition

Shahida, a social worker, had filed a Writ Petition, later on styled as Public Interest Litigation (PIL), in High Court of Allahabad against the State Government’s decision to ban the sale of meat and liquor. This PIL was instituted for consideration of the representation (on behalf of the residents of the ward) addressed to the District Magistrate, Mathura.

In her representation she had sought relief against complete ban on running meat, fish, egg shops etc., and also sought relief against suspension of the license of shops, non-veg hotels etc., with immediate effect.

She had also sought directions for permitting easy transportation of such restricted materials from outside for weddings and other ceremonial functions. The representation also prayed that the local police should not harass the people involved in transporting the restricted materials from outside into the said 22 notified wards.

Since Shahida’s representation was not considered by the District Magistrate, Mathura, she had moved to the High Court of Allahabad for redressal of her grievance.

Arguments in the Court from both sides

It was contended before the Court that on account of such restrictions, the people residing in these wards are deprived of their right of choice of meals and also from carrying on their business and livelihood.

It was further argued that the restriction is in violation of Article 19 (1) (g) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Additional Adv. General, Manish Goyal assisted by Additional Chief Standing Counsel, A.K. Goyal submitted that Mathura and Vrindavan are prominent places having great historical and religious importance being the birth place and Kreeda Sthal of Lord Krishna.

In support of the state government’s order, the Counsel further submitted that the State Government with a view to maintain the historical, religious, tourism importance and above all the sanctity of the Holy places, the government issued a Notification dated September 10, 2021 declaring 22 Wards of Nagar Nigam Mathura Vrindavan to be "Holy Place of Pilgrimage".

The Counsel further bought the Court’s attention to the fact that the Petitioner had neither challenged the Notification (dated September 10, 2021) issued by the State Government nor the State Government Order (dated September 17, 2021) which imposes restriction on sale of meat, eggs, liquor etc.

In support to his argument that the no fundamental rights of Petitioner have been infringed by imposing reasonable restrictions, the Counsel referred to the case of Darshan Kumar and Ors v/s. The State of U.P. & Anr. (AIR 1997 Alld 209).  In the said case, the reasonable restrictions of Rishikesh Municipality were upheld, and which was also affirmed by the Apex Court in the case of Om Prakash & Ors. v/s. State of U.P. & Ors. reported in 2004 (3) SCC 402.

Court’s Observation

On March 28, 2022, the High Court opined that since there are no averments about the Notification dated September 10, 2021, and the Government Order September 17, 2021 issued by the State Government, the Petitioner was not aggrieved by the same. Hence, the Court did not dwell into the validity of the aforesaid Notification and the Government Order.

The Bench further stated that declaration of any particular place as ‘Holy Place of Pilgrimage’ is the privilege of the State and the same does not mean that any restriction has been imposed and the said act is illegal.

The Bench further stated, “This restriction has been imposed only with respect to 22 Wards and is not applicable to other Wards of the city. Thus, there is no complete ban. The allegation of the petitioner that State Authorities are harassing such consumers of the restricted material (meat, liquor and eggs) in transportation of the same is merely a bald and sweeping statement. No material has been brought on record to substantiate this allegation.”

The Bench also observed that no reliefs were prayed in regard to the violations of the fundamental rights taken up as grounds in the Writ Petition.

However, before dismissing the said plea, the Bench remarked, “India is a Country of great diversity. It is absolutely essential if we wish to keep our Country united to have tolerance and respect for all communities and sects. It was due to the wisdom of our founding fathers that we have a Constitution which is secular in character and which caters to all communities, sects lingual and ethnic groups etc., in the Country. It is the Constitution of India which is keeping us together despite all our tremendous diversity, because the Constitution gives equal respect to all communities, sects, lingual and ethnic groups etc., in the Country.”

The complete order may be read here: 

 

Related:

Ram Navami violence: PILs seek SC monitored investigations, transfer of cases to NIA

Same-sex marriage: Delhi HC asks Central Government to respond to the plea for live-streaming of proceedings

Gujarat HC rules on PASA Act, claims Preventive Detention untenable

Delhi HC asks for Centre’s opinion on declaring the Child Marriage ‘void ab initio’

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives