Haryana: The Haryana government on Tuesday has strengthened the 2015 anti-cow slaughter law by authorizing the police to seize the vehicle involved in the transportation of animals and search the premises, Hindustan Times reported.
The present Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015, prohibits cow slaughter, trafficking and consumption of beef in the state.
Chief Minister Manohar Khattar chaired the meeting which approved the amendment to make it more practical and stringent.
The new bill will be called the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The new law was enacted after the BJP government was sworn-in the year 2015.
As per the 2015 Act, anyone found guilty of cow slaughter may be given rigorous imprisonment (RI) ranging from three to 10 years. Also, those found guilty of exporting cows for slaughter may be given three to seven years of RI with a fine and it could be three to five years of RI and a fine for selling beef.
Government officials have confirmed the amendment. The proposed amendment will introduce the word beef in Section 16 (1) (a) of the Act to ensure that offenders of cow slaughter do not get away, officials said.
The state 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 was imposed on the sale of canned beef, which was legal earlier.
According to the amendment, any police officer not below the rank of the sub-inspector or any person authorised by the government, may enter, stop and search any vehicle used or intended to be used for the sale of cows or beef, the government 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 amendment expects that when an offence under this Act is committed, the competent authority must be informed immediately. Before the confiscation of the vehicle, a “reasonable opportunity of being heard” will be afforded to its owner, according to the amendment. Gulati said the amendment will also replace the word “confiscated” with “seizure” in Sections 17 (1) and (2) in the law....