Srinagar: In a historic judgement the Jammu and Kashmir High Court hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has clamped a ban on the sale of beef in the state. The division bench of justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and justice Janak Raj Kotwal issued the order on Wednesday over the PIL filed by advocate Parimoksh Seth against cow slaughter.
The PIL said that slaughtering and sale of bovine animals is rampant in some parts of the state which severely affected religious sentiments of a section of the society. It further stated that the practice continues despite the fact that provisions of Ranbir Penal Code make killing of bovine animals an offence punishable under Section 298-A and possession of such slaughtered animal an act punishable under Section 298-B.
The court also observed the divisional commissioner of Kashmir had not filed an appropriate response about smuggling, slaughtering of bovine animals and their subsequent sale in the Kashmir valley. It directed the director general police to ensure that appropriate directions are issued to all police official, especially district heads and station head officers (SHOs), to strictly enforce the ban.
“Strict action shall be taken in accordance with law against those who indulge in this activity,” the HC observed. The HC’s order comes as the Rajasthan government ordered a three-day ban on sale of meat during Jain festivals this month, two days after a similar measure in Mumbai raised a huge controversy.
In Maharashtra, the BJP-led government passed the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act in March, banning the slaughter, sale and import of beef, a move which has been challenged in court. According to the law, slaughter and sale of beef as well as the possession and consumption of beef is a criminal offence.