Thiruvananthapuram: Cabinet on Wednesday decided to challenge Centre’s notification imposing restrictions on sale of cattle for slaughter in the court of law.
A special cabinet on Thursday will take a formal decision on the issue. The government is likely to approach the High Court with the main argument that the Centre had no right to frame rules in items that came under State List and the notification amounted to attack on the federal set up.
The government is also exploring option of moving Supreme Court. The decision will be taken in consultation with the Advocate General.
At the Cabinet briefing, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre’s notification was based on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. While the main objective of the rules was to regulate cattle markets, the provisions laid down in the notification spoke about banning the slaughter of cattle.
He said under this Act the Centre was not empowered to frame rules for regulating cattle markets. Issues like slaughter of cattle does not come within the purview of Parliamentary legislation. Under the Constitution, the State List item No 15 refers to preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases.
The chief minister said while some states had banned cow slaughter there are others where it is legal. Through the latest notification the Centre was trying to intrude into the rights of the states guaranteed under the Constitution.
Pinarayi said slaughter of animals for consumption purpose was permissible under 1960 Act but while slaughtering it should be ensured that animals were not subjected to extreme cruelty or pain. Another set of rules framed in 2001 reinforced these provisions hence Centre's latest notification was irrelevant.
Pinarayi said the notification would seriously impact trade and employment in cattle sector. Over five lakh people are employed in this sector. The notification was a violation of Article 19 of Constitution which gives citizens the right to practice any profession, or to carry any occupation trade or business, he added.
The chief minister said the annual sales of beef in the state stood at 2.5 lakh tonnes and the trade was worth a whopping Rs 6552 crore....