In what might come as a major setback for the Central Government, the Supreme Court of India, on Tuesday, put a stay on Center’s ban on sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for the purpose of slaughter. This order by the apex court implies that the order of Madras high court will continue to prevail and is extended to the entire country for three months.
On May 23, the Central Government had banned the sale and purchase of cattle for the purpose of slaughter in the entire country. The Ministry of Environment had notified the same under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
A week after this ban, Madras high court’s Madurai bench stayed this ban on May 30 for a period of four weeks. The bench also sought a reply from Union Government’s Ministry of Environment and the state government of Tamil Nadu on a petition filed by S Selvagomathy, an activist-lawyer based in Madurai.
In a statement, the Central Government had said that the notification was being reconsidered by it on account of suggestions and objections of stakeholders. The Government had also said that it will come up with an amended notification. This statement of the Government was noted by Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud.
The Economic Times quotes the bench of the Supreme Court saying,
Needless to say that the interim direction issued by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court shall continue and extend to the entire country.
P S Narasimha, the additional solicitor general who represented the Center, said that the notification will not be effective unless the local markets where the sale of cattle takes place, stipulated under the states, are earmarked by the state governments.