Former judge welcomes stay of rules

Posted May 31, 2017

The petitioner pointed out that the "impugned provisions" are contrary to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, for the said Act being the parent enactment specifically permits slaughter of animals and the sale of animals for slaughter, and also section 28 permits killing of animals for religious purposes.

The government last week prohibited the sale and purchase of cows-an animal considered sacred for Hindus-for slaughter across India.

Referring to the contention of the petitioners that the notification was related to food and hence ought to have been approved by Parliament, the judges asked the Centre to respond to the point also in its counter to be filed in four weeks.

Even as the court ordered a four-week stay on the notification, the Centre said it was examining the points raised by several states, including Kerala and West Bengal, which call the order an attack on India's federal structure.

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The recent notification of the Centre has triggered widespread protests in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The Environment Ministry had last week notified the stringent "Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017" under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

The decision is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather, as well.

"What someone will eat is his or her personal choice". The administration should ensure that there is no confusion. He alleged that it is a "covert attempt to usurp the powers of state legislatures" in the guise of rules.

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A petition was filed at the Madurai bench stating that it's basic right of an individual to choose his food. As far as slaughter of animals was concerned, it was exclusively in the State List, the court said. It has also been criticised that the order imposes an indirect ban on beef.

It also prohibits the establishment of an animal market within 25 kms from a state border and within 50 kms from the global border.

Millions of Hindus consider the cow to be holy and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - the idelogical mentor of the ruling BJP - has been pushing for a countrywide ban on cow slaughter.

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