Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused to put a stay on Centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter. The High Court order was a reiteration of its earlier stance where it had observed that there was no constitutional violation in the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. Last week, a division bench of the Kerala High Court had on Wednesday dismissed as withdrawn a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the order. Hearing the PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice Navniti Prasad Singh and Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan, expressed surprise at a Madras High Court order which had put a a four-week stay on the Centre’s notification, according to a PTI report. The division bench, while delivering the order, observed that its interference in the notification was unwarranted. It further observed that there is no ban on beef consumption or cow slaughter. The bench said that the restrictions were on the sale of cattle used for agriculture purpose at animal markets. There has been immense outrage in Kerala after Centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter. Soon after the order, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that he will hold a meeting of all the chief ministers to discuss the issue. “We want to call a meeting of all chief ministers to discuss the issue relating to the ban,” Vijayan told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
Vijayan, terming Centre’s ban as ‘anti-federal’, had asked his counterparts to come together against the move. “Unless we stand together and oppose this anti-federal, anti- democratic and anti-secular move, it may mark the beginning of a series of similar measures aimed at destroying the federal democratic fabric and secular culture of our country,” Vijayan had written in that letter, reported PTI. “I am sure that you are already conversant with the Notification containing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 23rd May, 2017. The Rules impose a number of restriction on cattle trade which would have serious repercussions on the livelihood of millions of people, especially those in the agricultural sector, in our country,” the letter read.