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Strictly Follow The Directions To Ensure That There is No Unauthorized And Uncontrolled Slaughtering Of Cattle Including Cows: Calcutta HC Directs Municipal Corporation

Sparsh Upadhyay
2 March 2021 6:37 AM GMT
Strictly Follow The Directions To Ensure That There is No Unauthorized And Uncontrolled Slaughtering Of Cattle Including Cows: Calcutta HC Directs Municipal Corporation
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The Calcutta High Court last week directed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities to take action against people found slaughtering cattle including cows and/or exhibiting for sale flesh of slaughtered cattle and/or selling cattle meat. The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee further directed the Corporation to strictly enforce the...

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The Calcutta High Court last week directed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities to take action against people found slaughtering cattle including cows and/or exhibiting for sale flesh of slaughtered cattle and/or selling cattle meat.

The Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee further directed the Corporation to strictly enforce the measures mentioned by the Commissioner in his affidavit (filed before the Court) "so that there is no unauthorized or uncontrolled slaughtering of cattle including the cows".

The matter before the Court

A Public Interest Litigation was filed before the Court alleging that there is indiscriminate, uncontrolled, unauthorized, and large-scale slaughtering of cattle including cows during the festival of Bakri-Id without adhering to the laws laid down by the legislature and the Courts including the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

By an order dated January 6, 2021, the Court had directed the Commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit delineating as to how the Corporation proposes to manage the situation and ensure that the provisions of the relevant laws including the West Bengal Animal Slaughter Control Act, 1950 and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 are implemented.

Pursuant to this direction, an affidavit was filed before the Court affirmed by the Commissioner stating as to what actions the Corporation is taking or will take to manage the situation. The steps are mentioned as under: -

  • The KMC has already identified places/locations for the slaughtering of animals on the occasion of Id-ul-Zoha and such locations/places identified for slaughtering of animals in the KMC area shall be notified to all concerned through newspaper publication and official website of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in each year at least one month before the date of holding Id-ul-
  • Since the KMC has 5 slaughterhouses, no place other than the said Municipal Slaughter Houses shall be permitted to be used in a slaughterhouse.
  • No person is permitted and shall be permitted, without or otherwise than with conformity, with a license from the Municipal Commissioner to carry on the trade of a butcher, fishmonger, poulterer, or importer of flesh.
  • No person is permitted and shall be permitted to sell or expose for sale any flesh obtained from an animal unless the skinned carcass of the animal is stamped in a particular manner as a token of the fact that the animal has been slaughtered in a municipal or licensed slaughterhouse.
  • The KMC and its officials exercise the powers to inspect the places where unlawful slaughter of animals is suspected and the animal or carcass of such animal or such flesh is seized if the contravention of the provisions is found.
  • Slaughtering of animal is permitted and shall be permitted in Municipal slaughterhouses only after the grant of certificate to the effect that the animal is fit slaughter.

Further, the Court observed,

"If the above-mentioned steps are strictly enforced by the Corporation, the situation will be well under control and there will be no unauthorized slaughtering of cattle including cows, which is the grievance of the petitioner."

Accordingly, the Court directed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to strictly enforce the measures mentioned by the Commissioner in the aforesaid affidavit so that there is no unauthorized or uncontrolled slaughtering of cattle including the cows.

Lastly, the Court made it clear that if it is brought to its notice that the measures are not being implemented in their true intent and spirit and there is unauthorized slaughtering of cattle including cows, the responsible officers of the Corporation may be exposed to due legal action including action under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code for dereliction of official duties.

Case title - Rajyashree Chaudhuri v. The State Of West Bengal & Ors. [WPO/372/2019]

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