Tomorrow you'll say I shouldn't have sugarcane juice: Gujarat HC on non-veg food carts seized in Ahmedabad
The court told the AMC to release the carts within 24 hours if the petitioners approach them. Justice Vaishnav asked the govt counsel how they could decide what someone else should eat or not
The Gujarat High Court on Thursday pulled up Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation while hearing the plea of 25 street vendors whose carts the AMC had “seized following objections from councillors to the sale of non-vegetarian items”, reported the Indian Express.
The court told the AMC to release the carts of the vendors within 24 hours, if the petitioners approach them. Justice Biren Vaishnav asked the government counsel, who was also representing the Additional Chief Secretary of the Urban Housing and Urban Development Department, how they could decide what someone else should eat or not.
He said, “What is your problem? You don’t like non-veg food, that is your lookout. How can you decide what I eat outside? Tomorrow you will decide what I should eat outside the house? Call the corporation commissioner and ask him what he is doing. Tomorrow they will say I should not have sugarcane juice because it causes diabetes? Or coffee (because it) is bad for health?”
Carts of street vendors had been seized in Vadodara, Surat, Bhavnagar, Junagadh and Ahmedabad, amid remarks that selling non-veg food “hurts religious sentiments” by the Mayor of Rajkot.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s standing counsel, Satyam Chhaya, stated that the petition was filed due to misconceptions. Chhaya said that the carts had been removed because of “encroachment on the road, which is a hindrance to public traffic or absolute blockage of pedestrians”, reported the Indian Express.
However Justice Vaishnav asked Chhaya how the civic body could “indiscriminately pick up people like this”. He said, “For example, let’s be very honest, around the Vastrapur lake, if there were hawkers selling eggs and omelette (and) overnight you decide because the party in power decides we don’t want to eat eggs, we want to stop them…you will pick them up and take them away?…why are you doing that?”
The judge reiterated that the AMC can’t just confiscate carts because someone might say tomorrow that they don’t want egg eateries around them.