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Maha beef ban law to be tested after privacy ruling

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Mumbai: According to the Maharashtra law, which makes carrying or keeping beef at home an offence, is all set to be the first legislation to be tested with regard to right to privacy which has now been declared a fundamental right.

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It is worthwhile pointing that SC is analyzing plenty of petitions filed by social activists, challenging the ruling of Bombay HC that upheld the government’s decision to ban slaughter of bullocks.

The HC is of the view that a ban on imported beef would be an infringement of right to privacy..

The bench agreed with her submission and said, “The verdict would certainly have some bearing on the present case”. The court, thereafter, adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Months before the SC delivered the verdict on privacy, the Bombay High Court in May last year held that right to privacy ingrained in the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and had struck down Section 5D as unconstitutional for being violative of right to privacy.

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The significant factor here is that state government in its appeal, contended that privacy was not a fundamental right.

Another important factor here is that the SC in its ruling also dealt with food habits of people while deliberating on right to privacy and said that a state should not have “unqualified authority” to intrude into certain aspects of human life which amounts to violation of right to privacy.”I do not think that anybody in this country would like to have the officers of the State intruding into their homes or private property at will or soldiers quartered in their houses without their consent. 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 or whom they should be associated with either in their personal, social or political life,” SC said in its verdict.
“All liberal democracies believe that the State should not have unqualified authority to intrude into certain aspects of human life and that the authority should be limited by parameters constitutionally fixed. Fundamental rights are the only constitutional firewall to prevent State’s interference with those core freedoms constituting liberty of a human being. The right to privacy is certainly one of the core freedoms which is to be defended. It is part of liberty within the meaning of that expression in Article 21,” it said.

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