SC stays ban on cattle trade for slaughter
At a time when the Government is planning to introduce changes to its controversial law to curb trade of cattle for slaughter at livestock markets, the Supreme Court stayed the operation of the law across the country on Tuesday.
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court had stayed the operation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017, which banned trade of cattle of slaughter in markets. The Gover-nment’s decision not to revoke or challenge the said order made it easy for the apex court, which extended the Madras HC order to the entire country.
With this order, a Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud disposed all petitions challenging the Rules and gave liberty to the petitioners — Hyderabad-based All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee — to approach the court against the amended Rules, expected to be notified by the Centre by August-end.
Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha told the court at the outset that the Centre was reviewing the Rules in light of objections received from various stakeholders.
He said this process will be over by August end. Once the notification introducing the amendments to the Rules is introduced, sufficient time shall be granted before its implementation, so as to benefit the aggrieved persons to challenge the same, the court added.
The Bench noted the submission of ASG that the Centre did not intend to revoke the stay imposed by Madras HC. But considering the fact that similar petitions were pending in various High Courts, senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioner Committee sought a blanket stay extending throughout the nation. He voiced the concern of cattle traders who were confused and afraid of selling their cattle at livestock market and claimed that an assurance must go out from the top court allowing business to go on as usual.
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