- The Centre's ban on cattle slaughter is nothing but an encroachment of state rules, says Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra.
- The rules framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act allegedly overlap the provisions of the state act and also contradict the central act.
- Karnataka already had the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964.
The cattle slaughter ban has soared temperature in many states, especially in the southern region of India. While Kerala has every reason to protest the ban, given their staple food is at stake, Karnataka too has joined the league of protesters although for a different reason altogether. The Siddaramaiah government was never party ti any of Centre's decisions- be it beef ban or the red beacon ban- but the reasons this time may force one to think about the feasibility of the idea in the first place itself. For instance, the Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra said that the Centre's ban on sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter was "anti-constitution" and an "attempt to encroach upon the powers of the state."
He also said that the state will not blindly follow what the Centre dictated and would arrive at a stand on the issue at the next cabinet meeting. Speaking to reporters, he said, "the rules framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act overlap the provisions of the state act and also contradict the central act. So, in my opinion, they will not stand the test of law."
Justifying his take on the "encroachment of power", he further added that the state aready had the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 in place to deal with such issues to deal with any of the issues arising out of cattle trade. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, too, referred to the ban as a "state subject" and nothing of concern to the Centre.
Jayachandra, speaking to the PTI, said, "as we check the constitutional validity of the rules, I feel they are not in accordance with the law and that they have been brought in a hurry." He also said, "as it is, overlapping the powers in the state list is anti- Constitution."
Answering the question of the Central Act taking over the state Act, he said, "they (Centre) should have amended theact, not the rules. The rules will not sustain. We have examined whether they can be followed or not. I will re-examine them and brief the cabinet at the next meetingand decide what to do."
Earlier Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed the ban as "anti-federal, anti-democratic and anti-secular" and shot off letters to his counterparts in other states, asking them to "stand together" and "oppose" the ban. Even West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee protested against the ban and claimed it to be a violation of state power.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:46 PM IST