MCGM informed the court of its decision during the hearing of a petition filed by meat sellers challenging the four-day ban on meat sales, which included two-day ban by the state government.

While the civic body announced the ban for September 13 and 18, the government had banned it for September 10 and 17. BMC's decision would mean that the city would now go without meat only on September 17.

Senior counsel N V Walawalkar, appearing for MCGM, told a division bench of Justices Anoop V Mohta and Amjad Sayyed that the civic body today decided to withdraw its September 1 circular imposing a ban on slaughter as well as sale of mutton and chicken in the city on September 13 and 18.

"Keeping public interest and the sentiments of Mumbaikars, in mind it has been decided to withdraw the circular," Walawalkar said.

The high court was hearing a petition filed by Bombay Mutton Dealers Association challenging the ban. The petition also challenged the state government's decision banning sale of meat on September 10 and 17.

After the civic body informed the High Court about its decision to withdraw the ban, the bench, which had concluded hearing arguments of all the parties, posted the matter for orders on September 14. During hearing of the petition, the high court today criticised the civic body and government's decision and said such restrictions cannot be imposed in a city like Mumbai.

"Mumbai city is cosmopolitan and multi-faceted where there is no sizeable amount of population from one sect. Hence can such a ban be imposed? In a city like Mumbai, there cannot be such bans. We are concerned about people who eat non-vegetarian food more. There are certain communities who do not eat vegetarian much," the court cited.

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