The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre’s new cattle trade rules for four weeks. The court observed that it was an individual’s right to choose his food, while hearing a public interest litigation against the Centre’s recent notification imposing license raj to curb cattle slaughter.
In the PIL, Madurai-based activist and lawyer S Selvagomathy challenged the constitutional validity of Rules 22(b)(iii) and 22(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 notified by the Centre, The Hindu reported.
The petitioner further argued that according to the PCA Act, the Centre had no authority ban the sale of animals in a market for slaughter. She further argued that the new notifications offended the Right to Freedom of Religion and the Protection of Interests of Minorities guaranteed in the constitution.
Earlier in the day, the state’s Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam had made a statement on the matter after the government and the ruling AIADMK dispensation maintained silence over the issue.
TN Law Min CVe Shanmugam hopes Centre will rollback order banning sale of cattle for slaughter in deference to people views @NewIndianXpress— T Muruganandham (@muruga_TNIE) May 30, 2017
The central government is facing stiff opposition from more than one state government.
The Left-led Kerala government has severely criticised the move saying it is undemocratic, and termed it as an effort to “further RSS agenda in the country” and said it would move court against the new rules.
The Kerala CM had also written to all state governments seeking support over the matter.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has also spoken against the law, calling it overbearing on the part of the Centre.
There were spontaneous protests in Kerala over the issue, with beef fests held across the state on Sunday.
Similar protests were held by students of IIT Madras in Chennai on Sunday as well.