Ban on sale for slaughter at animal markets: Madras High Court stays Centre’s cattle order

Petitioners cite federalism, right to choice of food; notices issued to Centre, Tamil Nadu govt, told to respond within 4 weeks

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: May 31, 2017 9:28 am
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, NEET proceedings, Madras HC on NEET proceedings, NEET, Supreme Court, indian express news The court said there was considerable force in the arguments advanced by senior counsel for the petitioners for granting interim relief sought.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday granted a four-week stay on the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. A division bench comprising Justices M V Muralidharan and C V Karthikeyan issued the interim order on separate petitions filed by S Selvagomathi, a resident of Madurai, and Asik Elahi Baba, who hails from Kalimangalam near Madurai. The judges said a delegated power to legislate by making rules, for carrying out the purposes of the Act, was general in nature, without laying any guidelines. “It cannot be so exercised as to bring into existence substantive rights or obligations or disabilities not contemplated by the provisions of the act,” they said.

The court said there was considerable force in the arguments advanced by senior counsel for the petitioners for granting interim relief sought. The judges were not in agreement with the Assistant Solicitor General that a presumption was in favour of the central government when a particular rule was introduced not by Parliament, but by the Executive.
The counsel for the Centre argued that the aim of the notification was to regulate animal markets. However, the court stayed the Centre’s order and issued notices to both the Centre and state government, asking them to respond in four weeks.

The petitioners said the new Regulation of Livestock Market Rules should be quashed as the provisions went against the Constitution, “breached the cardinal principle of federalism” and were contrary to the parent legislation — Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The right to choice of food (non-vegetarian or vegetarian) is part of the right to personal liberty and conscience and privacy, they said. The petition filed by Selvagomathi said the Centre’s notification was “against the fundamental rights of citizens, and the right to food and its choice is a fundamental right.”

Misunderstood, can buy cattle for slaughter from farms: Gauri Maulekhi. Read here

The petitioners contended that since the notification was related to food, it should have been approved by Parliament.  “The slaughtering of animals for food, the food… made out of such animal flesh and offering sacrifice of animals are part of the cultural identity of most communities in India, protected under the Constitution,” said the petitioners.
They said the rules were a burdensome interference in the freedom of trade and business guaranteed under the Constitution. Calling the order “unreasonable and unconstitutional”, they said the government notification would cause “severe food scarcity and famine since there is no alternative, adequate quantity of food provided by the state.”

On Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister said her government would “not accept this order” and would “challenge it legally and constitutionally”. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also opposed the ban and appealed to his counterparts in all other states to object to the “covert attempt to usurp the powers of the state legislature in the guise of rules under a Central Act.” According to the Regulation of Livestock Market Rules, notified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act last week, “…no person shall bring a cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle or his duly authorised agent… stating that the cattle has not been brought to the market for sale for slaughter”.

Another provision states that “…where an animal has been sold and before its removal from the animal market, the Animal Market Committee (to be formed in every district) shall… take an undertaking that the animals are brought for agriculture purposes and not for slaughter”. The rules also require the Animal Market Committee to ensure that the buyer of cattle does not further sell the animals for slaughter.
— With PTI

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  1. G
    George Cruz
    Jun 1, 2017 at 5:46 am
    The cow was revered as Hindu god for thousands of year by the Hindus in the entire Indian subcontinent. The truth is that there was no evil Islam or Christianity in the Indian subcontinent, Indian subcontinent was peaceful/inclusive with Hinduism, Hindu culture, Hindu temples, and overall the Indian subcontinent was a confluence of man religions like the Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism until the arrival of the brutal/illiterate Turkish invasion. Yes, India was a loose federation of many Hindu kingdoms worshipping gods like Shiva, Rama, Krishna, etc. MUSLIMS HAVE no claim even to an inch of India. India has been conquered by the ISlamic kings and the British but they couldn't hold on to it. The reality today is that the Hindus are peaceful and inclusive of everyone unlike the Muslims/Christians who are blinded by their religion and falsely claim to be secular and inclusive.
    1. Vimlesh Kumar
      May 31, 2017 at 6:46 pm
      1. L
        May 31, 2017 at 5:36 pm
        Battle drawn between Madras High Court and Kerala High Court.. Dravidian Court vs Sanghi Court, uh ? TV Channells - Common, start phewing Venom..
        1. S
          May 31, 2017 at 2:56 pm
          In India we do not obey any rules. we do not pay exact taxes, rather cir vent to pay less tax. Three people ride on motor bike; do not wear helmet; carry inflammable cylinder in our passenger car or taxi; private cars are used as tourist taxi; when a registered vehicle is permitted to carry 6 people we carry more than that; we do not obey signals. The list is endless. Finally what we obey; it is nothing we obey; slaughter is to be done in the house meant for that and those certified and not beyond that. Government cannot police each and every Indian. Rules are framed in the interest of every one. We the citizen of India will have to start obeying rules for India to flourish.
          1. A
            May 31, 2017 at 2:48 pm
            I agree beef shouldn't be consume in RSS book but which Hindu Scripture says beef cannot be consumed ?
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