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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bombay HC lifts beef ban but upholds decision on cow slaughter

Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court relaxed a ruling that made it illegal to consume or store imported beef in Maharashtra . In the same judgment, it upheld the government's ban on slaughter of cows and bullocks in the state. But if non-vegetarians are hoping for beef to be back on the menu, they might be disappointed. 
Many restaurants in the city haven't fully embraced the new judgment and are adopting a 'wait and watch' attitude. Among them is Manu Chandra, chef partner, The Fatty Bao , Monkey Bar and Toast & Tonic. He says, "We haven't got all the details yet. I don't want to get a new system in place only to have the order revoked." 

Even five-star establishments are being cautious. Jasjit Singh Assi, Hotel Manager, Four Seasons, Mumbai, says, 

"We are waiting on the exact regulations before we make any changes. Once we have received legal counsel on what kind of beef, where it should be brought into the state from, we shall consider how to move forward and if we shall start serving beef again." The ban on beef, imposed nearly a year ago, had received severe backlash. Chef Irfan Pabaney of T he Sassy Spoon believes that the ban was unjustified in the first place. The latest development has made him more positive about the future. "Even if slaughter isn't allowed yet, import of beef from other states is a step in the right direction," he says. While his restaurant hasn't made any change to their existing menu, Pabaney is keen to import beef from Karnataka and Goa. 

Gauri Devidayal, owner of The Table, shares Pabaney's opinion on importing beef from those states. "The court has shown wisdom in balancing cultural sensitivity with pragmatism. It would be crazy for us to not take advantage of the ban being lifted," she says. For some establishments, beef or no beef, it's business as usual. Anurag Katriar, CEO & Executive Director, de-Gustibus Hospitality Pvt. Ltd (Indigo and Tote on the Turf) reveals that the meat procured from their local suppliers was and will always be water buffalo meat. "We've always supported the local market by never importing any other forms of beef. The meat used in our beef dishes is water buffalo. ". 

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