HC dispose of PIL seeking ban on cow slaughter; asks petitioner to approach CS

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Jammu: Disposing of a public interest litigation seeking directions to UT administration enact a law prohibiting slaughter of cow and other bouvine animals, Jammu and Kashmir High Court here on Wednesday asked the petitioner to raise her grievance before the Chief Secretary by submitting a comprehensive representation in the matter.

The observation came in a PIL filed by an NGO “SAVE’’ through its chairperson Devinder Madaan alias Rumpy Madaan which pointed out  that “slaughtering cow’’ was no more an offence in the UT as Sections 398-A, 298-B and 298-C of Ranbir Penal Code stands withdrawn with the introduction of J&K Reorganization Act, 2019. The Indian Penal Code does not have such provisions in it, submitted petitioner’s counsel Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed advocate, adding the general criminal law contains a vacuum under this head. He further submitted that states like Haryana, Uttrakhand and Jharkhand have passed specific laws which protect the cows and their breed from slaughter and have made such an act a punishable offence under the specific law.

Disposing of the PIL, Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal observed that “it is settled law that no writ of mandamus would lie for issuing directions for enacting a particular law. It is for the law makers i.e. the legislature of the Union Territory of J&K to enact a law on a given subject,’’ the bench added.

Pointing out that the said task cannot be given to any of the respondents, it observed that at present, the legislature of the Union Territory of J&K is not in place. Therefore, at the moment no such law can be considered for being enacted, it added.

The bench further observed “the court cannot take upon the task of enacting the law itself or to issue any direction in this regard to any other authority as the same is only within the domain of the Legislature of the Union Territory.”