Madras High Court: Stays Centre's notification on slaughter ban for 4 weeks

Team SoOLEGAL 30 May 2017 4:41pm

Madras High Court: Stays Centre's notification on slaughter ban for 4 weeks

 The Madras High Court has granted an interim stay on the Centre’s notification on the ban of the sale of cattle for slaughter.

The Bench of Justices MV Muralidaran and CV Karthikeyan issued notice to the central and the state governments today in a petition filed by social activist and lawyer S Selvagomathy.Speaking to Bar & Bench, Senior Advocate Ajmal Khan, appearing for the petitioner, confirmed the news. He said,

“The Bench directed the central government to file counter in four weeks. In the meantime, the Court ordered an interim stay on the Rules, holding that a prima facie case is made out.”

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court stayed the notification for four weeks and has directed the state and central government to reply in 4 weeks

The High Court bench was hearing a plea that challenged the notification, stating that it was the basic right of an individual to choose his food.

"...the right to choice of food (Non-Vegetarian or Vegetarian) is a part of the right to personal liberty, conscience and privacy. By imposing a ban on slaughter of animals for food, the citizens with a choice to eat the flesh of such animals would be deprived of such food, which violates the right to food, privacy and personal liberty, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India," states the petition, filed by social activist and lawyer S. Selvagomathy.

The Centre in a notification last week had banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

"No person shall bring cattle to an animal market unless upon arrival he has furnished a written declaration signed by the owner of the cattle - stating the name and address of the owner of the cattle, with a copy of the photo identification proof. Giving details of the identification of the cattle and stating that the cattle has not been brought to market for sale for slaughter," the notification from the Environment Ministry had said.

"The farmers and other traders involved in sale of cattle and other animals and slaughter houses and its employees would be gravely deprived of their right to livelihood," the petition adds. 

The move had not gone down well with many state governments in the country, with Kerala, West Bengal and Karnataka questioning the notification.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Mamata Banerjee termed the notification "unconstitutional and discriminatory".

“What people eat is their right, their freedom. There is a deliberate attempt to take over state power. This is unethical. In a federal structure, the state govt has its own jurisdiction,” Mamata said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the residents of his state do not need a lesson on food habits from New Delhi or Nagpur, stating that Keralites have been following a traditional food habit, which is healthy and nutritious, and no one can change it.

After widespread criticism of the Centre’s notification banning the sale of cattle at animal markets, the Environment  Ministry could be looking at redefining the draft on the ban on cow slaughters, sources told TIMES NOW on Monday.

Read the Petition here:

Tagged: Madras High Court   Sale of cattle for slaughter   Environment Ministry  
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