20 Jan 2021 11:24 AM GMT
The State Government on Wednesday informed the Karnataka High Court that till the rules are brought into force under the "Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020", no coercive action shall be initiated for breach or violation of section 5 of the ordinance. Section 5 of the Ordinance reads thus: Restriction on transport of cattle.- No person...
The State Government on Wednesday informed the Karnataka High Court that till the rules are brought into force under the "Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020", no coercive action shall be initiated for breach or violation of section 5 of the ordinance.
Section 5 of the Ordinance reads thus:
Restriction on transport of cattle.- No person shall transport or offer for transport or cause to be transported by whatever means any cattle from any place within the State to any other place within the State for slaughter:
Provided that, the transport of any cattle, in the manner prescribed by the State Government or Central Government, for bona-fide agricultural or animal husbandry purpose shall not be construed as an offence under this section.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum in its order recorded that:
"Advocate General on instructions states that till the rules are brought into force by exercising of powers, no coercive action shall be initiated for breach or violation of section 5. The Advocate General also states that after the rules are framed but before the same are brought into force, the state government will move the court, so that petitioners are put to notice."
The bench said "In view of the statement made at this stage it is not necessary to consider the prayer for grant of interim relief. We grant time to the state government to file the statement of objections, till February 20." The matters are now posted for final hearing on February 26.
The court had on Monday while hearing a petition filed by Mohammed Arif Jameel, suggested that either state will have to make a statement for time being no coercive action will be taken for violation of section 5 of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020, or it will pass appropriate orders.
During the hearing the court said :
"The effect of proviso to section 5, is that even if a person wants to travel with the cattle for bonafide purpose unless he complies with rules it will be an offence. This will create a problem, the person will be hauled up or may be taken into custody."
Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari, appearing for one petitioner, submitted that all coercive action under the ordinance will have to be stopped and not just on the transport under Section 5.
In response, the HC said :
"As far as other provisions are concerned let there be a comprehensive statement of objections filed. But just see this the basic provision regarding slaughter it has been upheld by the Supreme Court in a seven bench judgement in the Mirzapur case. We are not going to hear petition finally today. If all of you agree this limited relief is enough today, what we will say is no coercive action be taken under section 5".
Advocate Rahamatulla Kothwal, appearing for another petitioner, suggested that the government should be directed to reconsider the ordinance.
To this, the bench said :
"No. We cannot tell the government to reconsider. As a court we cannot give directions to the government to reconsider legislation. It is like this if we find that it is not within the four corners of the constitution it is liable to be struck down but we cannot direct them to reconsider it is prerogative of the legislature".
On the previous hearing, Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi submitted that "Draft rules under the Act have been framed and we have invited objections for finalizing. Pending finalization of state rules the Transport of Animal Rules, 1978 under which Rules 46 to 56 provide for transportation of cattle, would be applicable. This is an interim arrangement."
The bench on perusal of the rules noted that the Central rules 46 to 56, will apply for transport by rail. While the proviso to section 22 of the Ordinance, is applicable for transporting in any manner. It said "A farmer if he wants to take his cattle in the same village he will have to apply for a certificate. Ultimately we have to see what will happen at grass root level."
The petition states that the law violates the fundamental rights of citizens and is unconstitutional. Further it is said that Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India guarantees citizens to carry out trade and business, subject to reasonable restriction as mentioned in clause 6 of that Article.
A complete ban on sale of purchase or resale of animals would cast a huge economic burden on farmers, cattle traders, who find it difficult to feed their children but would be required to feed the cattle as it is an offence under the law to starve an animal or failure to maintain it. It is also said that it would lead to the rise of "Cow Vigilantes".
The petition claims that the new law is in violation of Right to Livelihood, under Article 21 of the Constitution. Further it is said that the Right to choose food is a part of Right to personal liberty, consciences and privacy. By imposing a ban on slaughter of animals for food the citizens with a choice to eat the flesh of such animals will be deprived of such food which is in violation of Article 21.
The petition also states that Beef is an integral part of Mangalorean cuisine. The ordinance prevents them from consuming beef which is integral part of their culture and thus violates Article 29 of the Constitution. The petition prays to declare the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020"as unconstitutional. By way of interim relief stay the same.