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The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has observed that possession of a dead animal's skin will not amount to an offence under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, while quashing a FIR against a man for possession of skins of dead cows. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act(MAPA), 1976 prohibits slaughter, sale, purchase, import, export and possession of beef.
A division bench of Justices V.M. Deshpande and A.S. Kilor came to the conclusion while hearing a petition filed by Shafiqullaha Khan Ashfaqullha Khan seeking to quash a July 2018 case registered against him under provisions of the MAPA for alleged possession of 187 skins of cows in a van he was driving. The FIR against Khan was registered with the Shivaji Nagar police station in Buldhana district.
The Court held that since there is no statutory prohibition on possession of skin of dead animals, no offence is attracted in the matter and proceeded to quash the FIR against Khan.