Centre's Ban On Cattle Trade For Slaughter Suspended By Madras High Court

Brandon Parsons
May 31, 2017

The Madurai bench of the Tamil Nadu court has lifted the order issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for four weeks, in a move which a lawyer involved claimed was effective countrywide.

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The new law, which is being seen in many quarters as a de-facto ban on beef, has triggered protests across the country.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had termed the ban "anti-federal, anti-democratic and anti-secular", and shot off letters to his counterparts in other states asking them to "stand together" and oppose it. Mr Stalin said the Centre has "snatched away" the fundamental right to choice of food given by the Constitution and also criticised the state's ruling AIADMK for not "speaking up" on the issue.

Abdul Faheem Qureshi, head of the Muslim All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee that supports meat sellers, welcomed the decision by the court in southern India and said his organisation would seek a suspension from India's highest court.

There have been protests in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states like Kerala and Karnataka against the Centre's order.

Indian states have the power to pass their own laws on cattle slaughter and beef consumption, but the new rules come under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which is applied across India. But the court said the matter should have been taken to the notice of the state government since the implementation of the rule lay with the state government. She further argued that the new notifications offended the Right to Freedom of Religion and the Protection of Interests of Minorities guaranteed in the constitution. "The slaughtering of animals for food, the food and culinary (items) made out of such animal flesh and offering sacrifice of animals are part of cultural identity of most communities in India, protected under the Constitution", the PILs said.

A petition was filed at the Madurai bench stating that it's basic right of an individual to choose his food.

Regulating cattle trade is a state subject but animal welfare is overseen by the Centre.

The new rules also prohibited establishment of an animal market in a place which is situated within 25 km from any state border and within 50 km from any worldwide border.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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