Cattle market regulation is no slaughter ban: Kerala HC

31 May 2017

The Kerala High Court today disposed off a petition filed against the centre's move to ban the sale and purchase of animals for slaughter at cattle markets, holding that the new regulation doesn't impose a complete ban on cattle slaughter.

A division bench of the high court, hearing a petition filed by the Youth Congress secretary, said there was no breach of citizen's rights.

''The PIL does not stand, since the Centre's regulation only bans sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. It has not banned cattle slaughter at all. Can't the sale and slaughtering be done at home or other places? There is no breach of citizens' rights here. Seems like people are raising objections without even reading the regulation,'' the bench remarked.

Reports said the high court also expressed surprise at the Madras High Court's stay order on the centre's recent notification. ''If people had read the notification properly, there would not have been protests'', the court held.

The court's observations come amidst Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's decision to convene a meeting of all state chief ministers to discuss the centre's ban. Vijayan also wrote to his counterparts appealing them to stand together.

''We want to call a meeting of all chief ministers to discuss the issue relating to the ban,'' Vijayan told reporters here after a cabinet meeting, adding, ''This has to be questioned legally as it is unconstitutional.''

Vijayan, after holding talks with leader of the opposition Ramesh Chennithala, also decided to convene a special assembly session to discuss the cattle issue.

As the left governments in Kerala and Bengal continues a political slugfest over centre's new rules on cattle slaughter, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday made it clear that nothing has been banned by the government as is being blown about.

While hearing a petition filed by Sunil, a Youth Congress activist, Chief Justice Navniti Prasad observed that there was nothing in the new central law on cattle trade and slaughter that takes away the rights of people with regard to eating beef. The judge also said he was surprised that the Madurai bench stayed the centre's notification.

"If anyone reads it properly, the present law prevailing in the country along with the new order that came out none will not have come to this sort of conclusion. There is no ban on slaughter or sale of beef. What has been said in the new order is that mass sale of cattle for slaughter through the cattle market is banned," the Chief Justice said.

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