Guhawati HC revoked the order of banning dog meat by Nagaland Government

Background

Nagaland Government in the month of July (04.07.2020) has banned the commercial import and trade of dog meat and commercial sale of dog meat in markets and dining in restaurants.(Neizevolie Kuotsu Alias Toni Kuotsu and ors v. State of Nagaland and ors.).
This decision has been revoked by the Guhawati High Court.

Contentions of the Petitioner

1) Competence
The concerned authority, Chief Secretary, who had issued the impugned notification dated 04.07.2020 was not statutorily empowered to pass such orders. The Food Safety Standards Act, 2006 confers this authority on the Commissioner of Food Safety under Section 30 of the Act. Therefore, the notification dated 04.07.2020, issued by the Chief Secretary is illegal.

2) Procedure
There are procedural steps that have to be followed prior to the issuance of banning the sale of meat under the Food Safety Standards Act which are provided under Sections 34, 36, and 38 has been violated, therefore, there is a violation of the procedural law.

3) Unconstitutional
The executive order passed under Article 162 cannot stand the test of law if it violates Articles 14, 19 and 21.

  1. Income & Lockdown
    The petitioners are traders dealing in importing and sale of dog meat within the jurisdiction of Kohima Municipal under a license issued by Kohima Municipal Corporation. With the issuance of the impugned order their business and livelihood have been adversely affected added to the pandemic situation prevailing in the State.

Held
Under the facts and circumstances placed before the Court, Justice S. Hukato Swu was of the view that the impugned order dated 04.07.2020 may be stayed until the next returnable date and accordingly order so.

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