Plea against cattle trade rules: Supreme Court seeks Centre's response in two weeks

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the central government's response on a petition challenging notification banning the sale of cattle in open markets for slaughtering.

While issuing notice, the vacation bench of Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul gave the central government two weeks' time to respond to the petition by a Hyderabad-based advocate.

The court directed the listing of the matter on 11 July.

Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that intention behind bringing the notification was to have a regulatory regime on cattle trade across the country. He also told the apex court that the Madras High Court has recently granted interim stay on the notification.

Reuters

Reuters

The Centre had on 26 May banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter through an
Environment Ministry notification -- 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Petitioner Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, who moved the top court on 7 June, challenged the rules, which provides for the seizures, recovery of the cost of transportation, maintenance and treatment of seized animals.

The vacation bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Deepak Gupta had on 7 June directed the listing of the matter for Thursday (today) after counsel Sanobar Ali Qureshi, appearing for the Hyderabad-based petitioner had mentioned the matter urging for an early hearing.

Faheem Qureshi, himself a lawyer, has contended that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017, which bans sale of cattle for slaughter and other rules that restrict cattle trade are arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional.

The petitioner contended that the rules violated his constitutional rights to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, protection of life and personal liberty, freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion and protection of interests of minorities.

The petitioner has challenged different stipulations of two notifications that came on 23 May.

He has contended that the rule that the purchaser "shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose" was contrary to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, whose Section 28 says it is not an offence to "kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community".

Faheem Qureshi, who also heads the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, has also questioned the stipulation that prohibits bringing young cattle to the animal market, unless the purchaser furnishes an undertaking saying he is an agriculturist, that the animal would be used for agricultural purposes, and not resold for six months.

Qureshi has also objected to the provision of the notification requiring the owner to submit a bond to pay for the transportation, maintenance and treatment of the cattle.

With inputs from agencies


Published Date: Jun 15, 2017 12:07 pm | Updated Date: Jun 15, 2017 02:17 pm

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