Amid the ongoing argument over the Centre’s regulation on cattle sale and animal markets, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court today put a four-week stay on the government’s ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter.
The High Court has asked the Centre and state government to reply in four weeks over the issue.
An interim order to this effect was passed by a division bench comprising Justice M V Muralidharan and Justice CV Karthikeyan on a PIL filed by Selvagomathi and Asik Elahi Baba.
A petition was filed at the Madurai bench stating that it's basic right of an individual to choose his food.
Expressing strong disapproval of the Centre's move, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attacking the BJP-led government at the Centre and the RSS, saying there was no need for the people of his state to draw lessons from New Delhi or Nagpur on their food habits.
Last week, the Union environment ministry had notified stringent new rules, imposing ban on sale and purchase of cattle from any animal/livestock market for purposes of slaughter or religious sacrifice.
The ministry had notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.
The rules define cattle as a bovine animal including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels.
The new rules also prohibited establishment of an animal market in a place which is situated within 25 km from any state border and within 50 km from any international border.