The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday said Parliament should make a law declaring cow a national animal and to punish those who harm it. Observing that the animal is an important part of the Indian culture, Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav said a fundamental right is not only the prerogative of beef eaters but also of those who worship cows and are financially dependent on it.
The government should bring a Bill in Parliament and declare cow as the national animal and make strict laws against those who talk about harming the animal, the court said.
"The right to life is above the right to kill and the right to eat beef can never be considered a fundamental right," the court further said denying bail to Javed of Sambhal district, who allegedly stole a cow before killing and beheaded the animal. "This is not the first offence of the applicant. Even before this offence, he had committed cow slaughter, which had disturbed the harmony in society," the court said, adding that if released on bail, the accused will again commit the same offence.
The HC further noted that it is not only Hindus who have understood the importance of cows, Muslim rulers also considered it as an important part of India's culture during their reign. For example, Babur, Humayun and Akbar prohibited the sacrifice of cows in their religious festivals, the court said.
The ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali, made cow slaughter a punishable offence, the HC added. The court said cow should be declared a national animal as when a country's culture and faith gets hurt, the country becomes weak.
The court said the government should also bring laws against those who are running cow shelters but their aim is only to earn money in the name of the animal's protection.