SC Notice To Centre On Order Banning Trade Of Cattle For Slaughter

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Government of India on May 26 released a new law that bans sale and purchase of cattle for the objective of slaughter or religious sacrifice.

The matter will be heard on July 11.

Demanding withdrawal of the Centre's notification banning sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter from animal markets, a group of Muslims and Dalits held a protest meet outside the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata on Wednesday.

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.

During the brief hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, representing the Centre, told that bench that the intention behind coming out with the notification was to have some kind of a regulatory regime.

A petitioner approached the highest court saying that the notification was not only "discriminatory" and "unconstitutional" but also impinged upon a cattle trader's right to free trade.

One of the petitioners, Hyderabad-based Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, had in his plea, filed on June 7, contended that the notification was "against the freedom of religious practice to sacrifice animals" and imposing a ban on slaughter of animals for food violates the right to food, privacy and personal liberty guaranteed to a citizen under the Constitution. "The farmers now have the option of taking cattle to life stock market or to a slaughter market".

The Supreme Court has refused to stay the new Cattle rules formulated by the Union Government.

It said, slaughtering of animals for food and sacrifice was part of the cultural identity of certain communities and was protected by law.

The notification states no person shall bring cattle to an animal-market without submitting a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle or his duly authorised agent to the member secretary of the new committee.

  • Zachary Reyes