In a bizarre turn of events, the Bombay High Court was informed on Thursday that two permissions have been granted by the Municipal Corporation for slaughter of a total of ten goats in Court Room No. 13 of the High Court.

Quite naturally, the Bench comprising Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Riyaz I. Chagla found it “shocking”, noting that the permissions were granted online, without adequate verifications or scrutiny.

The Court’s order said, “Shockingly, the learned Counsel appearing for the Petitioner produced copies of two permissions which are taken on record. One permission is granted today to one “Neil Armstrong” permitting him to slaughter five goats in Room No. 13 of this Court. One more permission has been granted to one Shaun Vaz to slaughter five goats in Room No. 13 of this Court. 

Thus, the documents show that without any verification and without any application of mind, these permissions have been granted by the Municipal Corporation on the basis of the online applications.”

The Court was hearing a petition filed by one Jiv Maitri Trust, which informed the Bench that some members of the Bar had been granted permissions for slaughter of goats at their office addresses. It was also informed that another member of the Bar has been granted permission to slaughter four goats in Court Room No. 52 of the High Court.

The Court then took note of Rule 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001 which lays down that no person shall slaughter any animal within a municipal area except in a slaughterhouse recognized or licenced by the concerned authority.

On being presented with copies of such permissions placed on record, the Counsel appearing for the civic body submitted that the process of granting online permissions will immediately be stopped. This statement was accepted by the Court.

The Court then opined that considering the manner in which online permissions were being granted, their scrutiny would be necessary. The Counsel appearing for the Municipal Corporation was directed to take instructions from the Municipal Commissioner, with a direction to place the petition on 20 August, 2018.