Haryana Assembly passed Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015
It prohibits the slaughter of cow and its progeny and imposes punishment of up to 10 years with a fine ranging from 30000 rupees to one lakh rupees for any violation.
The Haryana Legislative Assembly passed the Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 on 16 March 2015. The bill bans cow slaughter, sale of beef and prescribes rigorous punishment for its violation. The bill also covers a wide range of administrative measures intended to conserve and improve the livestock.
The important provisions of the bill are:
- It prohibits the slaughter of cow and its progeny and imposes punishment of up to 10 years with a fine ranging from 30000 rupees to one lakh rupees for any violation. However, the killing of a cow in an accident or for self-defence will not be considered slaughter.
- Any person found exporting a cow for the purpose of slaughter either directly or through his agent or servant or any other person can be awarded rigorous imprisonment for not less than three years, which may extend up to seven years with fines ranging from 30000 rupees to 70000 rupees.
- For exporting a cow out of the State, people will have to apply for permit and file a declaration that cows for which permit for export is required will not be slaughtered. However, no permit for export of cows will be issued for a State where cow slaughter is not banned.
- The Bill also authorises any police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector or any person authorised on behalf of the government to enter, stop and search any vehicle used or intended to be used for export of cows.
- Sale of beef is banned in the State and violation of the ban will entail rigorous imprisonment for not less than three years and up to five years with a fine of up to 50000 rupees. In case of non-payment of fine, all violators will have to spend an extra year in imprisonment
- The government or a local authority will establish an institution to accept, keep, maintain and care for infirm, injured, stray and uneconomic cows.
Article 48 of the Constitution of India
The above provisions of the bill are in tune with the Article 48 (Directive Principle of State Policy) of the Constitution of India which states that the State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
Committees and legislations on cow slaughter
Cow slaughter is a State Subject (List II) under Schedule VII of the Constitution. Since the coming of NDA government led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre in May 2014, the clamour for legislating complete ban on cow slaughter in the BJP-ruled States have increased.
Moreover, the Union government also is mulling upon the idea to bring a national law on banning cow slaughter.
Even the Supreme Court in 2005 had upheld the validity of a law enacted by the Gujarat government prohibiting cow slaughter.
Although recently states like Maharashtra enacted legislations completely banning the cow slaughter but the legislations related to cow slaughter have been in vogue in some form since Independence.
Besides, in 1947 Datar Singh Committee and in 2002 National Commission on Cattle headed by Justice Guman Mal Lodha were appointed to look into the issue of cow slaughter.
States where legislations on cow slaughter exist are:
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
States with no legislation on cow slaughter:
At present, there is no ban on cow slaughter in Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep.