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SC Wades into Cattle Battle, Stays Centre's Slaughter Ban Diktat

The Supreme Court has ordered a nationwide stay on the Central government’s new cattle slaughter notification. The SC said that “livelihoods cannot be subjected to uncertainties”.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 11, 2017, 3:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a nationwide stay on Central government’s new rules that had imposed a blanket prohibition on the slaughtering of cattle brought from animal markets.

Issued on May 23, the notification bans the sale of cattle (cows, bulls, buffaloes, camels, heifers) for culling and also restrains sacrificing the animals for religious purposes. A bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said that the stay order by the Madras High Court will “extend to the whole of the country”.

“Needless to say that the interim direction issued by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court shall continue and extend to the entire country,” the bench said.

The bench disposed of the plea filed by the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee challenging the

constitutional validity of the May 23 notification.

Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha had requested the court for not issuing any order since the government was re-examining the rules and that new changes were likely to be notified by the end of August.

Narasimha said, the recent notification, in any case, will not be effective unless the state governments earmark local markets as stipulated under it where cattle sale takes place. “Moreover, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and others authorities concerned are looking into various suggestions and objections to the notification and a fresh amended one will be re-notified,” he said

But the bench responded: “Livelihood cannot be subjected to uncertainties.” It said that the government could go ahead and notify the new rules but the operation of the current rules will stay for the entire country.

The court also said that the government will have to give sufficient time for implementation of the new rules and also for enabling aggrieved people to approach the court again once the new rules are notified. It disposed of the current batch of petitions.

| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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