New Delhi: After Maharashtra imposed a ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, the Central Government has now sought opinion of the Law Ministry if it can circulate laws enacted by some states on banning cow slaughter to other states as a ‘Model Bill’ for their consideration to have a similar legislation there.
In an official communication to the Law Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), referring to Article 48 of the Constitution, 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.”
The PMO has asked the Law Ministry to examine and advice whether the Acts enacted by few states can be circulated as Model Bill to other states so that they can exercise their choice of consideration to introduce similar enactments.
Several states such as Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat have banned cow slaughter.
In 2005, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of a law enacted by the Gujarat Government prohibiting cow slaughter.
A central legislation banning cow slaughter has been in demand for long and the matter has been raised in the Lok Sabha several times in last two decades. BJP member Yogi Adityanath in July last year had introduced the Ban on Cow Slaughter Bill, 2014 while his colleague Hansraj Gangaram Ahir introduced Cow Protection Authority Act, 2014 as Private Members’ Bills.
Meanwhile, citing past precedents where laws on various matters were circulated among the states as model bill, sources in the government said there was no bar on the Centre to send such a Bill to states.
A draft model bill on flood zone protection, conservation and regulation of groundwater are some of the measures that have been sent to states recently by the Ministry of Water Resources and Planing Commission and these have been used by various state government to enact their own laws.
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