|Case No.||W.P. No. 1154/2021 (PIL)||Date of Filing||19/01/2021||Status||Pending||Petitioners||Kanika Gulati, Sreekumar Gopinathan||Respondents||1. State Government of Karnataka, 2. State of Karnataka— Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, 3. State Government of Karnataka— Department of Parliamentary Affairs|
The Petitioners, Kanika Gulati and Sreekumar Gopinathan, have filed this Public Interest Litigation in the Karnataka High Court, challenging the validity of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020. In particular, Sections 2(2), 4, 5, 6, 7 and 18(1)(d) are challenged on the ground that they violate Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution.
The petition states that the impugned Ordinance repeals the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, and diverges significantly from the same. The Ordinance in Section 4 bans slaughter of all forms of cattle, unlike the Act which only prohibited it with respect to cows, she-buffaloes and calves; an exception is made only for buffaloes over 13 years of age. Furthermore, it restricts the transportation of cattle within and outside the state (Section 5 & 6) and sale of cattle for slaughter (Section 7). The penalties are harsh, with imprisonment for three to seven years, and a fine up to ten lakhs.
The provisions will seriously affect farmers who will find it difficult to maintain cattle, and engage in trade of cattle. It will also affect persons who rely on beef as a staple part of their diet and daily food. Moreover, the ordinance also deprives the consumers of beef the nutrition that they can get for a relatively cheaper rate. It is thus disadvantageous to marginalised sections of society.
The petitioners rely on Justice K. S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1 to depict how this Ordinance also violates the right to privacy of the people. The Petition states that the Ordinance is counter-productive to the objective since it would reduce the breeding of cattle, thus reducing their overall numbers. Furthermore, there would be no adverse effect on agriculture or the agricultural economy due to the consumption of beef, and the Government has not furnished any data to prove otherwise.
The petition prays for holding the specific sections, i.e. Sections 2(2), 4, 5, 6, 7 and 18(1)(d) as ultra vires, and for a stay on the Ordinance until the decision is pronounced.
The case is ongoing and the next date of hearing is 26th February 2021.