The Karnataka government Thursday clarified that its law related to cow slaughter does not provide any protection to gau rakshaks.
The state government said it submitted a counter affidavit before the Supreme Court Wednesday on Section 15 of The (Karnataka) Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964.
“Some sections of media reported wrongly, saying the government has justified the Act which protects gau rakshaks and it has created confusion among the general public, and we clarify that the law doesn’t protect any gau rakshaks,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Section 15 of the said Act gives immunity to persons acting in good faith to avoid cow slaughter. According to the section, no suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall be instituted against the competent authority or any person exercising powers under this Act for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rule made thereunder.
According to the affidavit submitted by RK Cheluvaiah, an Additional Director for the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services of Karnataka, “The competent authority or any person exercising powers under this Act are only protected and the said provision is not applicable to any society established by the state government registered under the provisions of Karnataka Societies Registration Act or any association, institution established by body of persons for taking care of cows and other animals sent thereto.
“If persons, who are members of such societies, associations or institution or vigilante groups, indulge in violence and create disharmony among various communities and castes taking law in their own hands and committing atrocities on innocent people, the protection under Section 15 of the Act is not available for such persons. Therefore, question of declaring the provisions of Section 15 as unconstitutional does not arise.”
Cheluvaiah also stated in the affidavit that the state government has taken stringent action as per law against those who have indulged in criminal activities in the name of cow protection.