Hyderabad High Court judge Justice B Siva Sankara Rao has held that time has come to amend the law with stringent penal consequences and strict enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and laws covering the prohibition of cow slaughter.
Justice Rao was hearing a revision petition in which he framed the question ‘whether a person under mere claim of owner or representing the so-called owner, either to kill or to sell for slaughter, is entitled to interim custody of cows and bulls seized from him, when those are allegedly possessed for slaughter, considering the national importance of cows, which are the substitute to mother and God, and sacred national wealth’.
He answered the question in the negative and dismissed the revision petition.
He added:“It is, thus, not only the need to duly enforce the law, the existing lenient penal consequences un-pinching crime perpetrators, but also requires to rectify by suitable amendment with stringent penal consequences, more particularly in respect of those other than human species who cannot fight for their rights enshrined in the Constitution from the fundamental duties of citizens and duties of the State in making and enforcing effective legal protection to those as part of the Directive principles of State policy, without which those species shall not fight and self-defend for their rights enshrined in the Constitution, against the defiant attitude of a human being, in order to protect those.”
Cow a substitute to mother who is a substitute to God
Justice Rao observed that ‘in this country - the Bharat, for those in belief who represent a majority of population, cow is a substitute to mother, who is a substitute to God. The cow in particular acquires a special sanctity and was called "Aghnya" (not to be slain). Thus, cow is a sacred national wealth and no one merely owned can claim, but for to rear, either to kill or to sell for slaughter”.
He also observed that cow milk is the most compatible with human mother’s milk than any other species in existence. This is because the DNA of the cow was specifically constructed to be harmonious with mammalian human DNA. So it can be clearly understood that cow DNA was designed so humans could benefit from cow’s products like milk, cheese, butter, cream and yoghurt.
No Fundamental Right To Slaughter Cows on Bakrid
Justice Rao said it is a settled legal position that there was no fundamental right of Muslims to insist on slaughter of healthy cows on the occasion of Bakrid.
“The contention that not only an essential religious practice under Article 25(1) of Constitution, but even optional religious practice could be permitted, was discarded. The apex court held that slaughtering of healthy cows on Bakrid is not essential or required for religious purpose of Muslims o,r in other words, it is not a part of religious requirement for a Muslim that a cow must be necessarily sacrificed for earning religious merit on Bakrid,” it said.