The bill was passed in the Assembly in the absence of Congress MLAs, who were suspended for a day for creating ruckus in the House.
The bill, which seeks to amend the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954, also a provision for ten-year imprisonment for transportation, storage or sale of beef. It provides for permanent forfeiture of vehicles involved in transportation of progeny of cows and beef. It also bans transportation of animals from one place to another in the night.
Introducing the bill in the Assembly, state Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja said, “Cows not just have religious significance, they also have an economic significance in our society. It is utmost necessary to increase the punishment to deter those involved in slaughtering of cows.”
As per the bill, those involved in the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks, would face imprisonment up to life, but not less than ten years.
In the present Act, which was amended in 2011, the maximum jail term for such acts was seven years, but not less than three years.
The bill also proposes imprisonment up to 10 years, but not less than seven years, for those found to be involved in transportation, sale and storage of beef. Earlier, the maximum punishment for the same was three years.
In 2011, when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the state government had imposed a complete ban on slaughter of cows, transportation and selling of cow meat by amending the said Act.
Since then, the crimes related to cow slaughter in the state are covered under the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act of 2011.
(With inputs from PTI)