The Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the Maharashtra government’s ban on beef in the city. However, it struck down a provision in the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act that criminalised the possession of beef brought from outside the state. The court was hearing several petitions questioning the validity of the ban.

While the Act banned the slaughter of cows in Maharashtra in 1976, an amendment to it in February 2015 had deemed illegal the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, and the possession and consumption of their meat. The petitions had argued that the ban violates the fundamental rights of citizens, and undermines the state’s cosmopolitan fabric, with residents from all faiths and communities.