New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Central government on hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Hyderabad based Non-Government Organisation (NGO) over cow and cattle slaughter ban issue.
The apex court’s vacation bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and comprising Justice R.K. Agarwal issued notice to the government for July 11.
The petitioner NGO had moved the apex court challenging the Centre’s notification that bans sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that received flak since its announcement.
The petition was filed by a Hyderabad-based lawyer, Fahim Qureshi, stating that the order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood.
On May 25, the Centre through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners.
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.
Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule.
In lieu of this, there was a widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last month said he would call for a meeting of all the Chief Ministers, asserting that the Union Government does not have the right to issue such an order on cattle slaughter ban.
Vijayan further said that the Centre’s new rule is an impermissible encroachment into the domain of the State Legislatures which is a clear ‘violation of the spirit of federalism.’
On June 1, the students of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT- Madras) staged protest against the same.
With the police deployed in front of the IIT campus, the students protested at the main gate and raised slogans against the Centre’s controversial notification.