Madras HC stays cow slaughter ban even as Centre re-examines rules2 min read . Updated: 31 May 2017, 04:40 AM IST
Madras high court's four-week stay comes even as Venkaiah Naidu says union government will look at states' views on cattle slaughter ban
New Delhi: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Tuesday granted a four-week stay on the central government’s controversial notification prohibiting the sale of cattle, including buffalo, for slaughter at livestock markets.
The court was hearing a public interest case filed by two individuals including activist and lawyer Selva Gomathy against the rules that have already been rejected by a few states.
The rules, apart from hitting the supply of beef in those states that allow cow slaughter—many do not and the Union government is considering a law to the effect—will also affect the supply of buffalo meet, potentially hurting a Rs25,000 crore buffalo meat export business.
The rules were passed to prohibit the smuggling of cattle, across state and national borders, and improve the way they are treated at livestock markets.
The petition before the court challenged the constitutional validity of the new rules notified by the centre on 26 May.
The petitioners said the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals permits slaughter of animals as well as sale of animals for slaughter.
Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu came together on Tuesday to press the state government to register its protest again the rule. As they mounted pressure on the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for not opposing the new rules, law minister C. Ve Shanmugam Tuesday said the centre should take into account the sentiments of the people.
“Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Puducherry and Tripura have rejected this notification, we urge the Tamil Nadu government to dissent over the centre’s decision," a joint statement from the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu said.
The DMK would stage a demonstration in Chennai on Wednesday and the VCK will hold protests across the state on Thursday.
Senior BJP leader and Union urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said the issues raised by state governments are being examined.
“The environment ministry had issued the notification taking into consideration observations made by the Supreme Court and the standing committee of Parliament, to prevent cruelty on animals and to break nexus in animal markets. Subsequently, certain issues were raised by different states. These issues are being examined by the government," Naidu told reporters in the national capital.
The Union environment ministry may revise the new cattle trade rules, taking buffaloes out of the definition of cattle. A final decision, though, will be taken only when Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from his foreign visit.
Harveen Ahluwalia contributed to this story