Monday, August 07, 2017

Cattle Ban Rules Were Never Laid Before Parliament, RTI Reveals

The Quint: New Delhi: Monday. August 7, 2017.
An RTI that was responded to by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, challenging the cattle slaughter ban rules in the Supreme Court reveals that the rules were never laid before Parliament, which the government has to do before implementing them, as The Hindu reported.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules of 2017 is back on the table for discussion. It bans the sale of cattle livestock in the markets for the purpose of slaughter or animal sacrifices. Notified on 23 May 2017, the rules state that only in animal markets can the cattle be sold for farming purposes.
The petitioner, Sabu Stephen, exposed before a bench led by Chief Justice JS Khehar a chink in the government’s slaughter ban rules, on 4 August 2017.
Section 38A of the Prevention of Cruelty Act of 1960 – the parent Act under which the rules are made – mandates that any rule made by the Centre under it ought to be laid before each House of the Parliament “as soon as it is made”. The rules would be placed before the Parliament for a total 30 days. Any modification agreed upon by both Houses of the Parliament should be incorporated in the rules or else they would have no effect.
The RTI clearly stated that the livestock rules were “not forwarded by the Ministry concerned, ie, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, for laying on the table of the House so far. Hence, not laid till date”.
Biju contested:
The government bypassed the Parliament, suppressed the rules from the elected representatives of the people of the country and killed the parent Act... all this when over 70% of the country is affected by certain provisions of the livestock rules.
The apex court has been given surety by the government that it is re-considering the entire body of the livestock market rules. It has also promised that the rules in the existing form will not be implemented.
Chief Justice Khehar said:
But these rules in the current form is nevertheless in operation. Rules, once notified, are the law. Government cannot say we will not implement them. The rules will continue to operate until either you (government) repeal them or we issue an order of injunction.