In a significant move, the Supreme Court on Tuesday broadened the ambit of Madras High Court order staying the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. Stating that the interim direction will remain in force, the apex court ordered that it would cover the entire country.
A bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud took note of the statement of the Central government that it was reconsidering the notification by taking into account various objections and suggestions of stakeholders and would come up with an amended notification.
“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 then disposed off the plea filed by the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee challenging the constitutional validity of the May 23 notification.
Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha, appearing for the Centre 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,” the ASG said.
The centre’s law officer also added that as of now the government is not seeking a stay on the Madras HC order and apprising the court about the present status.
The apex court considered the submissions of the Centre and asked it to give “sufficient time” so as to enable aggrieved persons to approach the court again with their grievance if any.
The Centre had on May 23 issued the notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather.
The Environment Ministry had notified the stringent ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017′ under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
(With inputs from PTI)