Allahabad’s Supreme Court has rejected a plea from a former Uttar Pradesh minister to cancel an FIR filed against him for running his meat processing plant in Meerut without a valid permit.
A bench of judges Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Rajnish Kumar also rejected former minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi’s plea to postpone his possible arrest following the FIR’s registration against him and another person involved in the meat processing operations in Meerut.
The FIR, filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Kharkhoda Police Station in Meerut District, accused Mr Qureshi of processing previously stored meat and purchasing fresh meat for his unit without valid license and after the expiry of his previous license .
The FIR also accused him of endangering the health of people near the meat processing unit due to the air pollution caused by the foul odor emanating from the unit.
Qureshi’s plea, the bank said, said: “The allegations on the face of it indicate that the unit is indulging in an unlawful act of processing meat without a legal authority.”
Referring to the allegation of the unpleasant odor lingering near the unit, the bank said in its Wednesday injunction: “Other allegations are that the meat storage produced a lot of foul odor and posed a safety risk to residents of the nearby area. If so, we would not be entitled to examine facts to determine whether such allegations are true or not.”
“Accordingly, no interference with the FIR is needed,” the bank said.
Speaking to Mr Qureshi’s counsel that his client played no direct role in running the sector, the bank said: “As far as the petitioners’ involvement in this matter is concerned, they can always have the appropriate legal remedy. under the Code of Criminal Procedure.”
The FIR was primarily challenged on the grounds that the commercial meat processing activity was carried out on site after obtaining permission and license from time to time.
Mr Quraishi’s petition also argued that the only material available on the site during the raid was the packaged meat that was kept there before 2019 but could not be removed due to the Covid pandemic.
During a raid by state authorities on Mr Qureshi’s meat processing unit in Meerut on March 31, 2022, a huge amount of fresh raw meat along with bones was found along with another huge amount of processed meat with other materials.
The stuff caused a huge nuisance to the general public, it was reportedly not kept securely and caused an unbearable foul odor.
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