No Coercive Action Against Cattle Transport Till Rules Are Made : Karnataka Govt Tells High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesNo Coercive Action Against Cattle Transport Till Rules Are Made : Karnataka Govt Tells High Court Mustafa Plumber26 Feb 2021 8:28 AMShare This – xThe Karnataka Government on Friday assured the court that till the rules are brought into force under the “Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act 2021”, no coercive action shall be initiated for breach or violation of Section 5, which restricts cattle transport.When the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance was in force, the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka Government on Friday assured the court that till the rules are brought into force under the “Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act 2021”, no coercive action shall be initiated for breach or violation of Section 5, which restricts cattle transport.When the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance was in force, the Advocate General had made a similar undertaking before the Court on January 20.Now that the Ordinance has been replaced by the Act, the Advocate General told the Court that the same undertaking can be continued.A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum in its order recorded :”Advocate General states that the statement recorded in order dated Jan 20, will continue to apply in relation to breach or violation of section 5 of the Act, which has been brought into force. In view of the statement, what is recorded in para 3 of the order dated January 20, will continue to operate as far as section 5 of the Act is concerned.”Section 5 of the Act reads as: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.The government had, on January 5, promulgated the anti-cattle slaughter ordinance that provides for punishment for killing of cattle and offers protection to those acting in good faith to save them, as the Bill to this effect was yet to be cleared by the Legislative Council after having been passed in the Legislative Assembly in December last year.Soon after petitions were filed before the High court challenging the ordinance, contending that the law violates the fundamental rights of citizens and is unconstitutional.  During an earlier hearing,  the court had expressed reservations about Section 5, observing that it can affect the livelihood of ordinary farmers. “State will have to consider what happens to a common farmer,” Chief Justice AS Oka had observed while suggesting 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 Ordinance, or it will pass appropriate orders. Following this,  the State had given the assurance to the court of not taking any coercive action for breach of the said section. However, on February 9, the bill was cleared by the Legislative Council and has been enacted as a law. Accordingly the court allowed the batch of petitioners one week time to amend their petition and challenge the Law.Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi informed the court that he has no objection to the petitioner being allowed to amend the petitions. He submitted that the statement of objection to the petitions will be filed four weeks after the amended petitions are served on the state government. The bench will next hear the petitions on March 5, for fixing a date of hearing. Senior Advocate Professor Ravivarma Kumar appearing for one of the petitioners prayed for by way of interim relief staying the ordinance in view of the fact the new act has come in place. He submitted that the state government is not filing its statement of objection but still people are being prosecuted under the ordinance. The court observed that “We cannot ask them to file two statements of objection one to the ordinance and one to the new act. As far as prosecution under the ordinance is concerned, a statement is already recorded of the Advocate General.” It added, “We have to finally dispose of the matter, we cannot spend time on interim relief.” As per the new law defines “cattle” as “cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock and he or she buffalo below the age of thirteen years”. “Beef” is defined as “flesh of cattle in any form”. It imposes a total ban on the slaughter of cattle.”Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, custom or usage to the contrary, no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered, or offer or cause to be offered for slaughter or otherwise intentionally kill or offer or cause to be offered for killing any cattle”, says Section 4 of the law.While many states have laws against cow slaughter, most of them exempt buffalo from the prohibition. Karnataka has widened the ambit of the prohibition by covering buffaloes below the age of 13 years.The bill further prohibits transportation of cattle within or outside the state for the purpose of slaughter. The bill also states that no person should purchase, sell or otherwise dispose of or offer to do so any cattle for slaughter or knowing or having reason to believe that such cattle will be slaughtered.A police officer above the rank of sub-inspector, if he has “reason to believe” that an offence under this Act has been committed, can inspect any premises and conduct a search. Seized cattle will be handed over to the care of state-run organizations.The offences are cognizable and violations can be punished with imprisonment of three to five years and fine ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. There is also a provision for the forfeiture of the confiscated cattle, vehicles, materials and premises to the State on conviction.The exemptions under the law are buffaloes above the age of 13 years and certified by a competent authority, cattle used in medical research, cattle certified for slaughter by a veterinarian to prevent spread of a disease, and very sick cattle.The new law repeals the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act 1964. Under the 1964 law, slaughter of bullock or buffalo was permissible with certification from the competent authority as the ban was only on the slaughter of “cow or calf of she-buffalo”.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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