SC stays cattle sale rules across nation

Published on 14 Jul 2017 by Team

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre’s May 26 notification, banning cattle sale in livestock markets for slaughter and religious sacrifices.

The order came after the government acquiesced that public outcry and objections from the States about the law's impact on livelihoods made it realise that the rules need “tweaking”.

Representations

Appearing before a Bench of Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Additional Solicitor-General P. Narasimha chose his words carefully while saying the government had received a “large number of representations” that “certain aspects” of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Act, 2017 were “troubling” and threw up some “sensitive” questions about the Central rules.

“We realised that certain aspects need tweaking,” Mr. Narasimha submitted.

The law officer however quickly added that a re-look at the rules does not mean a repeal.

Mr. Narasimha said the rules would be amended keeping in mind the interests of the various stakeholders, including the meat industry, and re-notified.

The law officer conveyed to the court that the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, was already working on the amendments to the rules and they would be completed by August.

Mr. Narasimha apprised the Bench that the rules have already been stayed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in May last. The Centre submitted it was not challenging the four-week stay order passed by the High Court.

The fact that the Madras High Court’s stay order had lapsed on July 7 did not stop the Supreme Court from endorsing it. “The directions of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court shall extend through out the country,” the Supreme Court ordered.

The court however, did not agree with the Centre’s suggestion that the States should meanwhile go forward with the work of identifying animal market spaces within their jurisdictions as per the existing rules.

Source: The Hindu


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