New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the plea challenging the Centre’s notification that bans sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.
In the last hearing, the apex court had issued a notice to the central government on hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Hyderabad based Non-Government Organisation (NGO).
The apex court’s vacation bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and comprising Justice R.K. Agarwal, issued notice to the government seeking reply by July 11.
The NGO had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the Centre’s notification that bans sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that received flak since its announcement.
The petition was filed by a Hyderabad-based lawyer Fahim Qureshi, stating that the order was discriminatory and unconstitutional, as it prevented cattle traders from earning their livelihood. On May 25, the Centre through an order imposed a ban on the sale of cattle, including cows, for slaughter and restricted cattle trade solely to farm owners.
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.
Regulating animal trade is a state business, but animal welfare is a central subject, thereby providing the window for the ministry to notify the rule.
In lieu of this, there was widespread opposition of the order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last month said he would call for a meeting of all the chief ministers, asserting that the Union Government does not have the right to issue such an order on cattle slaughter ban.
On June 1, the students of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT- Madras) staged protest against the same.