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Cattle slaughter: Supreme Court notice to Centre on plea challenging notification

The petitioner has argued that the restrictions placed by the new notification are in contrary to the very law under which it has been issued. Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act does not categorise slaughter of animals for food as cruelty on condition that it does not accompany pain and suffering.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 15, 2017 3:51 pm
cattle slaughter, cow slaughter, gau rakshaks, cattle slaughter ban, supreme court The Centre recently banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. (Representational Image)

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the notification banning sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. The Centre has been asked to file its response within two weeks. The matter will be heard next on July 11.

Fahim Qureshi, a Hyderabad-based lawyer, moved the top court, saying the notification was “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional” as it violated the cattle trader’s right to free trade. A vacation bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Deepak Gupta is hearing the petition.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, issued by the Ministry of Environment, stated, “No person shall bring cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle – stating the name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof. Giving details of the identification of the cattle and stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter.”

The petitioner has argued that the restrictions placed by the new notification are in contrary to the very law under which it has been issued. Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act does not categorise slaughter of animals for food as cruelty on condition that it does not accompany pain and suffering.

Opposition to the notification

The notification had triggered protests across the country since the day it was announced. The move has already had an adverse impact on the leather industry. Abdul Faheem Qureshi, a representative of India’s Muslim Qureshi community of butchers, said in Uttar Pradesh some markets trading 1,000 animals last year were now down to as few as 100. India is the biggest seller of buffalo meat in the world, with exports that run up to $4 million. As Many traders are unhappy with this decision arguing that it is a way to impose BJP’s ‘Hindutva’ agenda.

“The business is dead,” said Aqil Qureshi, president of the Delhi Buffalo Traders’ Welfare Association who runs a slaughterhouse outside the city and sells hides to leather companies. “We will take legal help, we will hit the streets. Who does not fight for their livelihood?” was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Many leaders, including from within BJP, have also expressed their displeasure with this move of the central government. Two BJP party leaders from Meghalaya resigned as a mark of protest. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last month said he would call for a meeting of all the Chief Ministers, emphasising that the central ministry cannot impose such rules on individuals.

A widespread opposition was also witnessed in many states in the country. Beef festivals were held in many parts, including IIT Madras, where students asserted that the Centre cannot dictate food habits.

The BJP has, however, dismissed all the allegations. BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli said, “The BJP is saying this clearly that the question of having a law in a state on cow slaughter is to be decided by the state and not the Centre.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said taht the government is not trying to impose any restrictions on people’s choice of food.

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  1. H
    Honest Indian
    Sep 2, 2017 at 3:24 pm
    Here 5 facts on holy cows. s: /IlLuVsJ7gpo
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      tapankumarmajumdar
      Jun 25, 2017 at 10:33 pm
      GOVERNMENT'S RECENT NOTIFICATION on Cattle Trade may be viewed from the point of Maintaining healthy practices so far as several procedures like 1) keeping the animals in a nice civilised way 2) keeping them in the stables - following a high veterinary standard - which surely is NOT followed anywhere 3) slaughtering them in the expected way - following the Govt norms which include many valid guidelines 4) Post-killing - rules governing the dos and don'ts - which are not usually followed 5) Preservation and Display - Not at all followed. We often and often see on the roads - cow-meats are ferried in small and big trucks and lorries - barely covered with 'unhygienic' plastics. This we see everyday. But a growing trend among some citizens - to speak loud - trying to stop consumption of cow-meat - is very very wrong. Almost every country in the world - cow-meat is used as FOOD. NOTHING WRONG IN IT. NOTHING WRONG. Let us Not paint INDIA with ILLOGICAL and CHILDISH colours. regards. tkm
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      1. D
        Dash
        Jun 15, 2017 at 8:14 pm
        Misleading headline by pres-st-itutes of the IE. Misleading report. The SC said that it wont stay govts notufication.
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        1. G
          Ghanashyam
          Jun 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm
          Cow are economical animal, they are good. If some are sons and daughters of cow. Please, keep ur father and mother in ur house. Indian road is full of them and lots of accidents happened due it. And please dont ually abuse ur mother, and steal ur brothers and sister milk for some money. Can i know why u impregnated ur mother artificially denying her right to ually impregnated. Why u tortured ur father in field and in form of Bullock card. I am a hindu, but in my religious book i fail to find the part where some got the idea of cow as mother and bull thier father. Luckly for me like hindu both my father and mother are human. For me like hindu, cow is a good economical animals.
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          1. T
            tapankumarmajumdar
            Jun 25, 2017 at 11:39 pm
            The writer is completely RIGHT. let us see things through logic and a valid sense - which way is good for our country. Our land - is fortunately a multi-language, multi-religious, multi-cultural one. We are very lucky on these counts. Our minds must Not be narrow - to find faults without any reason with other sects and communities. If some people find it worth worshipping cows, let them proceed. But these same people MUST NOT interfere with the likings of other sects who EAT COW. nothing wrong in it. there must be tolerance for other communities. LET US PROVE - INDIA IS GREAT. let us not prove ourselves 'limited' in thoughts and ideas. regards. tkm - An Indian Citizen - New Inspired.
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          2. M
            Mathura
            Jun 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm
            hindus tie tight rope, around neck and legs of a cow ( Gaumata), while milking them and after milking the cow call her Gau mata to milk votes. Tying rope around mother's neck is permissible under which shloka of ved, puran, upanishad?
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            1. D
              Dash
              Jun 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm
              Ropes are tied so that katwas and dhimmis like you dont steal them.
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