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State legislatures have ‘exclusive’ powers to enact laws on cattle protection: Govt

Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a written reply that the Government of India was not a respondent to the case hearing which the Rajasthan High Court advised the state to declare cow a national animal.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: July 18, 2017 9:21:23 pm
The Centre’s response came in the wake of a string of incidents of assault on people, mostly Muslims and Dalits, over cow slaughter. (File)

State legislatures have “exclusive” powers to enact laws for preservation of cattle, the government told the Rajya Sabha Tuesday when asked what it proposed to do in response to the Rajasthan High Court’s suggestion to declare cow a national animal. Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a written reply that the Government of India was not a respondent to the case hearing which the Rajasthan High Court advised the state to declare cow a national animal.

“Rajasthan High Court vide order dated 31.5.2017 advised that cow should be declared a national animal and directed the state government of Rajasthan to take steps for preservation and conservation of cows and for declaring cow as a national animal.

“It is learnt that government of India was not a respondent to this case,” Harsh Vardhan said.

He was asked whether the Rajasthan High Court had recently advised that cow should be declared a national animal and what action the government proposed to take on it.

“Under the distribution of legislative powers between Union of India and states under article 246(3) of the Constitution, the preservation of cattle is a matter on which the legislature of the states have exclusive powers to legislate,” he said.

The Centre’s response came in the wake of a string of incidents of assault on people, mostly Muslims and Dalits, over cow slaughter, consumption and transportation of beef.

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