The Prime Minister’s Office has sought Law Ministry’s opinion on whether the Centre could circulate the laws on cow slaughter as enacted by some states, including Gujarat, as model bill among other states for their consideration for similar legislations there.
In a letter to the legal arm of the government, the PMO has referred to a similar provision in the Constitution that provides prohibition of slaughter of cows and milch animals.
Article 48 of the Constitution states that “the State shall endeavor to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”
The letter, sent recently, asked the Law Ministry to “examine and advice” whether the Acts enacted by few states can be circulated as model bill to other states so that they can “exercise their choice of consideration to introduce similar enactments”.
The PMO letter also mentions that in 2005 the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of a law enacted by the Gujarat government prohibiting cow slaughter.
Meanwhile, citing past precedents where laws on various matters were circulated among the states as model bill, sources in the government said there was no bar on the Centre to send such a bill to states.
A draft model bill on flood zone protection, conservation and regulation of groundwater are some of the measures that have been sent to states recently by the Ministry of Water Resources and Planing Commission and these have been used by various state government to enact their own laws.
Several states like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat have banned cow slaughter. Maharashtra is the latest state to put in place such a ban.