Cattle sale restrictions: Supreme Court refuses to interfere with Madras High Court stay order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the Madras High Court's stay order on provisions of the Centre's 23 May notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter.

The apex court, however, modified its earlier order and vacated its stay on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Case Property Animals Rules 2017).

This paves way for implementation of Livestock Market Rules except Rule 22 which was stayed by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court.

The Case Property Animals Rules 2017 notified by the Centre on 23 May, could also be implemented with apex court vacating its stay.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"We are disposing of the petition before us. The stay order of Madras High Court on Rules (22) b (iii) and 22 (e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Livestocks Markets) Rule 2017, will remain as it is. We are not touching that," a bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said.

The apex court, however, granted liberty to aggrieved parties to approach the court, when the new rules are notified by the government saying that only then, the fresh cause of action will arise.

The court said that it is satisfied and there is no objection to other provisions of Livestock Market Rules and Case Property Animals Rules 2017, and therefore the stay is vacated.

It said that only rule 22 of Livestock Market Rules which deals with sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter which has been stayed by high court will remain as it is.

Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha said that the government is looking into the objections from various stakeholders and rules are under scrutiny after which it will be tabled in the Parliament.

He said that every aspect of the rules was to protect the animal from cruelty as there were cases in which cattle was exported for slaughter.

Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for one of the petitioners, said that they are challenging rules as the parent Act (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) does not have provision of prohibition.

On 11 July, the court extended to the entire country the Madras High Court order staying the 23 May notification of the Centre banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter.

The order had came after the central government asserted that it was not seeking lifting of the stay on notification by the high court and was, rather, looking at it afresh by considering objections and suggestions.

The Centre had told the court that it would come up with the amended notification.

The apex court had said the amended rules, to be notified later, would be also open to challenge before it.

The central rules, in any case, will not be effective unless the state governments earmark local markets as stipulated where cattle sale takes place, and the process would take at least three months.

The Centre had on 23 May issued the notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.


Published Date: Aug 11, 2017 08:08 pm | Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 08:08 pm


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