No slaughter ban yet: Kerala High Court

Court refuses to interfere with Centre's notification.

Kochi: Kerala High Court has refused to interfere with the central rule on the sale of cattle in markets, observing that the new rule neither violates the Constitution nor deprives people of their right to eat beef.

The court on Wednesday observed that there is absolutely no ban on slaughtering cattle. There was only a restriction on the sale of cattle and the new rule made it clear that the cattle should not be sold for the purpose of slaughter at animal markets, it said

The rules framed by the Union government did not stop one from selling cattle for slaughter outside the animal market.

A division bench, presided over Chief Justice Navniti Prasad, was disposing of the public interest litigation filed by Youth Congress general secretary T G Sunil, seeking to quash the notification on restrictions on cattle sale for slaughter.

The state government produced in the court the Madras High Court verdict staying the controversial notification.

“Can't the sale and slaughter be done at home or on rooftops,” the court asked.

The bench also dismissed as withdrawn the PIL challenging the Centre’s ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets across the country under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017.

Meanwhile, a single judge on Wednesday reserved his order on petitions filed by Kozhikode District Meat Workers Association and a meat trader in Kochi challenging the constitutional validity of the rule prohibiting the sale of cattle for slaughter.

The Centre submitted that there was no prohibition on slaughtering and that it had only regulated selling of cattle for slaughter at animal market.

The High Court decision came the day after the Madurai bench of Madras High Court stayed the Central rule for a month, holding that the subject concerned is on the Concurrent List and amid of a hail of protests by States, especially Kerala, against the Centre’s move to “usurp” States’ legislative powers and trample on the federal structure.

Kerala Government on Wednesday decided to convene a meeting of all chief ministers in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss the new central law and well as Centre-State issues. The Cabinet also decided to challenge the Central law either in the High Court or the Supreme Court but the special Cabinet on Thursday would decide the forum.

The Government would consult the Opposition on convening the Assembly the entire gamut of issues involved in the Centre’s latest moves.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Office had criticised the slaughter ban, saying “Cattle slaughter becomes illegal at a time when manslaughter happens in the name of cow”.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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