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Gujarat HC raps civic body on action on non-vegetarian carts: ‘You'll decide what I eat?’

Justice Vaishnav asked the AMC to return the seized carts and stalls to vendors in accordance with the law upon receiving their applications.

Gujarat HC raps civic body on action on non-vegetarian carts: You'll decide what I eat?-dnm
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Ahmedabad, First Published Dec 10, 2021, 1:30 PM IST
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The Gujarat High Court slammed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) while hearing a petition by 25 street vendors alleging recent drive against food stalls selling non-vegetarian food in the city, ordered that such actions should not be carried to “satisfy the egos” of some people and instructed it to consider the cases “as expeditiously as possible” if approached by the petitioners within 24 hours for release of their goods.

"Today someone has a nightmare and tomorrow morning you'll stop people from selling everything. Don't do it under a drive to satisfy the egos of some people," the single judge bench said.

During the hearing, Justice Biren Vaishnav asked, “What hurts the municipal corporation?”

Addressing the government counsel, the court 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 will you 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?”

Further criticising the body’s action asked whether the action was taken because “suddenly because somebody in power thinks that this is what they want to do?"

Justice Biren Vaishnav made the comments while hearing a plea by 25 street vendors whose carts had been seized by the Corporation recently. The vendors included those selling non-veg food, eggs as well as vegetables.

Following instructions, counsel for the Corporation stated in the post-lunch session that the petitions were filed under the mistaken impression that there was a drive to remove non-veg food from the streets. Instead, he claimed that the stalls were removed because they were impeding traffic and obstructing pedestrians.

“This is a drive against encroachment. They (petitioners) are giving it a colour of non-vegetarian food items." To this the judge replied, "You are giving it a colour of encroachment (drive) to remove non-vegetarian vendors.”

The judge further commented that the AMC did it under the guise of implementing the law and asked further, “Around Vastrapur lake, hawkers are selling eggs and omelettes. Overnight you decide because the party in power says that they don't want people to eat eggs, you will pick them up and send them away? Today somebody had a nightmare and said that from tomorrow there will not be any sale of non-vegetarian food. Ask your commissioner to remain present and answer. How dare you indiscriminately pick up people like this and seize their assets?”

Justice Vaishnav asked the AMC to return the seized carts and stalls to vendors in accordance with the law upon receiving their applications.

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