Chhattisgarh HC asks civic body to establish slaughter house; says its right to livelihood

RAIPUR: In a significant order pertaining to right to livelihood, Chhattisgarh High Court has directed the Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) to establish within six months a slaughter house, pointing out that non-establishment of new slaughter-house by the civic body is violative of fundamental right of meat sellers affecting their livelihood, which is included in right to life enshrined in the Constitution. In May last year, RMC had closed down its slaughter house that was in existence since 1962.
Passing an order on a writ petition filed by Hazi Sahbuddin Quresi, president of meat sellers association, the bench of Justice Sanjay K Agrawal directed Raipur district collector to allot land to RMC within three weeks for establishing a slaughter house as statutorily mandated under the Chhattisgarh Municipal Corporation Act, 1956. The court also directed that thereafter, the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board and other competent authority will also grant necessary permission or license for running of slaughterhouse in accordance with law. The project will be completed within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, the high court said.
Justice Agrawal, in his order, said with the non-establishment of slaughter house, the members of the petitioner Association are deprived of their fundamental right to carry trade and business of sale of meat etc., and deprived of their right to livelihood which is included in right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The High court also directed the Secretary and the Special Secretary of Urban Administration and Development department, Raipur collector and Municipal corporation commissioner to oversee the issue of establishment of slaughterhouse within six months and see that slaughter-house is established in fact and persons eligible are allowed to carry-on their trade and business guaranteed under the constitution.
RMC had established a slaughter house in the year 1962 and set up a place for slaughter of animals for sale and accordingly, distributed license to meat sellers for sale of meat and others and since then, it is being used regularly, but suddenly in May, 2016, the Corporation has shut down the slaughter house without notice to any member or the petitioner Association and without showing any cause contending that in absence of permission from the Pollution Control Board, the slaughter house cannot be permitted to run.
Petitioner’s counsel pointed submitted that even after closure of slaughterhouse, the Municipal Corporation is taking no steps to establish alternative slaughterhouse in place of closed slaughterhouse and therefore the petitioner and members of Matan Vyapari Sangh are deprived of their avocation to run and sell meat and thereby they have been deprived of their right to livelihood which is a part of the constitutional right to life, which is violative of their fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.
During the hearing, Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) counsel submitted that an alternative place has been selected at Village Sondongri and requisite land has been requisitioned from the Collector, Raipur which is under consideration and for establishment of the plant. Besides, an expression of interest has already been floated and entire process of establishing will be completed expeditiously.

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