Cattle slaughter ban order to go? Modi govt prepares to roll back controversial notification

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The Centre has decided to rescind its controversial notification that banned the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets in the country.

New Delhi, December 02, 2017: The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has decided to roll back its controversial May 25 notification that prohibited the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter at animal markets across the country, sources confirmed to India Today.

The move to roll back the cattle slaughter notification was made after feedback from several states, sources further told India Today. The controversial notification, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, had said that nobody can bring cattle to an animal market unless he or she has furnished a written declaration that the cattle will not be sold for the purpose of slaughter.

The notification sparked outcry across the country with critics of the BJP-led central government accusing it of using its power to impose its ideology on the rest of India.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was among those politicians who slammed the Centre for its notification. The firebrand Trinamool Congress chief called the notification undemocratic and unconstitutional.

According to the reports published in m.indiatoday.in Several parts of the country also saw protests being held against the notification. Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka were among the states were the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter was severally opposed.

The governemnt, however, pushed back at the criticism, saying it was not trying to impose its will on the people nor was it attempting to influence the food habits of citizens.

Earlier in June, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had suggested the government was open to rescinding its controversial notification. The minister said cattle slaughter or the sale of cattle for slaughter was not a prestige issue for his government that the government would be reviewing suggestions it had then received over the notification habits of people”.

“Rules under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, are not to influence food habits, or affect slaughtering business,” Harsh Vardhan had also said, according to a PTI report from June 4.

Even as the government battled the blow-back over the cattle notification, the controversy soon knocked on the doors of the judiciary.

Indiatoday.in further added that the issue, however, saw an interesting twist after the Madras and Kerala high courts issued conflicting orders. While the Madras High Court stayed the implementation of the government’s notification, the Kerala justices refused to intervene in the matter.

The notification then reached the Supreme Court, which in July ruled that the Madras High Court’s stay on the government’s notification was operational.

Notably, during arguments in Supreme Court, the government indicated it was no opposed to the stay remaining. The Centre then told the apex court it was not seeking a modification of Madras High Court order.

 

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