The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the cattle trade rules notified by the environment ministry and wondered if these amounted to infringement of the powers of states.
“What you are trying to do is tell people they can’t bring an animal that is intended for slaughter to the market, in which case you are not preventing cruelty to animals but regulating the market which is within the power of the state,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told additional solicitor-general P S Narasimha.
The bench was hearing an application by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi seeking modification to the court’s earlier order extending the stay by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on certain provisions of cattle trade rules. Narasimha denied that the rules were an attempt to infringe on the states’ powers and said that “animal markets will be identified and established by states” and the central rules will only introduce a regulatory regime therein.
The court wondered “how can an undertaking be given that the purchase will not be for slaughter”. Narasihma said “that aspect is under consideration. It is being rectified”.