New Delhi :
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday granted a four week stay on Central government notification on ban on sale of cattle for slaughter.
The high court directed state government and Centre to reply with in four weeks.
A Madurai bench comprising Justices M V Muralidharan andC V Karthikeyan issued the interim order on the two pleaswhich said that the rules should be quashed as they wereagainst the Constitution, breached the principle of federalismand were contrary to the parent legislation -- Prevention ofCruelty to Animals Act 1960.
Referring to the contention of the petitioners that thenotification was related to food and hence ought to have beenapproved by Parliament, the judges asked the Centre torespond to the point also in its counter to be filed in fourweeks.
Madurai Bench of Madras HC grants a 4 week stay on central govt notification on cattle slaughter, directs state and GoI to reply in 4 weeks.— ANI (@ANI_news) May 30, 2017
The order has come amid a raging row on the ban, withnon-BJP parties and state governments of Kerala, West Bengaland Puducherry stridently opposing the Centre's recentnotification. Several places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have beenwitnessing protests during the past few days against the banon sale of cattle for slaughter. Protesters have alleged thatit infringed upon the food habits of people.
The PILs sought quashing of the provisions of Rule 22(b)(III) and Rule 22(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(Regulations of Live stock Markets) Rules 2017 on the groundsthat they were contrary to the parent act of Prevention ofCruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the country's Constitution.
Petitioners Selvagomathy and Asik Ilahi Bhava contendedthat the "provisions breached the cardinal principle offederalism" as it amounted to legislation in the fieldsearmarked for state legislature. The new rules notified by the Union environment ministrybanned the sale or purchase of bulls, cows, camels forslaughter houses or for sacrifice for religious purpose.
The petitioners said the provisions were notified on May23 last when courts were on vacation. Such rules should bediscussed in parliament and approved by it. Rules prohibitingsale and purchase of animals offended the right to freedom ofreligion guaranteed under Constitution, they submitted. "The slaughtering of animals for food, the foods andculinary made out of such animal flesh and offering sacrificeof animals are part of cultural identity of most communitiesin India, protected under constitution," the PILs said.