Chandigarh: The Haryana government gave nod to stricter provisions under the 2015 cow slaughter act, entailing police to seize the vehicle involved in the transportation of animals for slaughtering and search the premises used for such a purpose.
A cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here gave nod to the amendment in the 2015 Act in order to make it "more stringent and practical", an official release said. The new Bill will be called the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Haryana assembly had passed the Bill on March 16, 2015, which later became an Act, by which the slaughtering of cow and the sale of beef in the state was banned. According to the 2015 Act, anyone found slaughtering a cow or selling beef can be sent to jail for a minimum of three years, which may go up to 10 years, along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Additional imprisonment up to one year can be given if a fine is not paid. Haryana has around three lakh cows in its 400 gaushalas, along with around 1.5 lakh stray ones and 18 lakh at homes. In the 2015 Act, a ban has also been imposed on the sale of canned beef (flesh of cow contained in sealed containers), which was legal during the tenure of the previous state government.
As per the new amendment, any police officer not below the rank of the sub-inspector or any person authorised in this behalf by the government, may enter, stop and search any vehicle used or intended to be used for the sale of cows or beef, the release said. "He may seize cows or beef along with the vehicle in which the animal or its flesh is found and, thereafter, take all measures necessary for securing the production of the cows or beef so seized in a court," the new amendment says.
He may enter and search any premises used or intended to be used for the slaughter of cows and seize the animal or beef and collect evidence from the spot, including instruments and documents used or intended to be used regarding activities related to the slaughter and the sale of cow or beef.
Whenever an offence punishable under this Act is committed, a report about the same without unreasonable delay be made by the person seizing it to the competent authority, says the new amendment. Before the confiscation of the vehicle used for the sale of cows or beef for the purpose of slaughtering, a reasonable opportunity of being heard will be afforded to its owner, the new amendment said.
In another decision, the Haryana cabinet decided to exempt market fee on pulses/dals used as a raw material in food processing industries located within the state. The cabinet also decided to include five castes Jogi, or Jogi Nath, Maniar, Bhat, Rahabari and Madari (Hindu) in the list of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes in the state, the release said. Before this, there were 24 castes in the state list of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, which has now increased to 29.