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Supreme Court Serves Notice to Centre; Reply Sought Within 2 Weeks

15 June 2017

INDIA - Hearing a plea challenging the Centre’s notification on cattle slaughter ban, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday asked the government to file its response within two weeks before the court hears the matter again on 11 July.

NewsX reports that a Hyderabad-based NGO on 7 June asked SC to intervene in the matter stating that the new law prohibiting sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter or religious purpose ‘violates’ their right to free trade.

Responding to the plea, the vacation bench of the apex court has decided to hear the matter once again next month after the Central government submits their reply in the case.

Petitioner Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi has contended that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 is arbitrary and debars him from the constitutional right to practice any profession.

Earlier on Wednesday, calling the central government’s notification on cattle trade ban devoid of “prejudice or hidden agenda”, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader and Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said that he is open to the States for giving their suggestion for amendments in the new law.

Speaking on the growing discontent from various parties alleging the govt for hijacking and overruling state authority power over the matter of cattle, Harsh Vardhan claimed that he has no problem in bringing amendments to the existing restrictions on the sale of cattle for slaughter.

“I appeal to protesting states and the public at large to send us their suggestions,” said a national daily quoting the minister.

Mr Vardhan further stated that the new rule was placed in the public domain for discussion and suggestions in January this year.

However, when no stakeholders came to challenge the drafted rule, the Ministry decided to go ahead with the rule, said the minister.

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

As per the new law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 aims to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.

The list of animals that cannot be bought or sold for slaughter through cattle markets includes cows, bulls, buffaloes, heifers, calves and camels.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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