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Karnataka HC Issues Notice to State Govt on Plea Questioning Anti-cow Slaughter Ordinance

File photo of Karnataka High Court building.

File photo of Karnataka High Court building.

The petitioner has argued that the ordinance went against the fundamental rights of a citizen under Articles 14, 19 (1) (G) as well as Article 21 of the Constitution, allowing citizens the right to consume food of their choice.

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Stacy Pereira

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the state government asking it to file its objections in a PIL challenging the recent ordinance promulgating the anti-cow slaughter Bill.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum issued the notice based on the petition filed by Mohammed Arif Jameel, a resident of Bengaluru. The petitioner argued that the ordinance went against the fundamental rights of a citizen under Articles 14, 19 (1) (G) as well as Article 21 of the Constitution.

"The rule under Section (5) -- that is restriction of transport of cattle -- has not yet been framed. Because of this, even innocent farmers who are transporting their cattle from village to village can be harassed. We brought to the notice of the bench incidents in Davangere and Chikkamangaluru and the court has taken cognizance of this, however, they have given the state time till the next hearing to frame the rules," said Rahamatulla Kotwal, the advocate representing the petitioner.

The petitioner has sought interim relief by calling for a stay of operation of the impugned ordinance. The ordinance was passed by Governor Vaju Bhai Vala on January 5 after being cleared in the Karnataka state assembly.

Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi, who represented the state via video conference, sought time from the bench and assured the court that the government was in the process of forming the rules.

The petitioner also submitted that the Bombay High Court in Shiek Zahid Mukthar vs State of Maharashtra had held that depriving people of the right to choose food was unconstitutional. Thus, the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2021, violated the fundamental rights of many citizens to consume food of their choice.

The next hearing will be on January 18.


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