Cattle ban ‘discriminatory’, ‘unconstitutional’? SC issues notice to Centre, seeks response in two weeks; next hearing on July 11

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Centre in connection with its recent notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter.

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Centre in connection with its recent notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter.

According to PTI, the apex court also asked the Centre to file its response within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on July 11.

A vacation bench of the apex court comprising Justices RK Agrawal and SK Kaul passed the order while hearing a petition challenging the Centre’s notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter – a move that backfired and received flak from various quarters.

Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that intention behind bringing the notification was to have a regulatory regime on cattle trade across the country.

He also told the apex court that the Madras High Court has recently granted interim stay on the notification.

A Hyderabad-based lawyer, Fahim Qureshi, who had filed the petition, had claimed that the Centre’s order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood.

On May 25, the Centre through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.

Regulating animal trade is a state business but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule.

In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification.

Kerala govt led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and some other northeastern states last month opposed the move and announced that they would not comply with the centre’s ordwer.

Vijayan said he would call for a meeting of all the Chief Ministers, asserting that the Union Government does not have the right to issue such an order on cattle slaughter ban.

Vijayan further said that the Centre’s new rule is an impermissible encroachment into the domain of the State Legislatures which is a clear ‘violation of the spirit of federalism.’

On June 1, the students of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT- Madras) staged protest against the same.

With the police deployed in front of the IIT campus, the students protested at the main gate and raised slogans against the Centre’s controversial notification.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page