SC Modifies Order On Cattle Notification; Stay On Case Property Rules Vacated

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

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

The Case Property Rules deal with the issue of care and treatment of those animals which are seized by law enforcement agencies for offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.“We are disposing of the petition before us.

Order Extending Madras HC’s Stay On Cattle Rules: SC To Hear Clarification Petition

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 J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said.

Additional Solicitor General P S 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 Parliament

On August 4 the court adjourned the matter pertaining to cattle sale ban notification to next Friday awaiting an answer from the Centre if the rules had been placed before the parliament.

The direction came after advocate V K Biju, appearing for one of the petitioners challenging the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017 quoted a RTI response and said the rules had never been placed before parliament and so no part could be given effect to.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud was hearing the plea which said the Madurai Bench of the High Court had only stayed the operation of one of the two notifications, that is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, which is also referred to as Livestock Market Rules.

The bench was about to issue a modification and a clarification when advocate Biju intervened.

“The requirement of placing before parliament has to be complied with before giving effect to it” Justice Chandrachud told ASG Narasimhan

“The issue which we are considering is very very limited,” the bench had said on July 21 adding, one of the notifications had already been stayed by the Madras High Court and it had upheld the same as Centre did not oppose.

Filing the plea for modification, animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi  alleged that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, also referred to as the Case Property Rules, was not challenged before the High Court.

The petition has submitted that the July 11 order was passed on the basis of “an incorrect assumption and belief” that both the rules were challenged before the High Court.

“Allow the application and clarify the order passed by this Court on July 11 to the effect that the order passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on May 30 is restricted to the operation of Rule 22(b)(iii) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017,” it said.

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

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