Government consults Law Ministry on ‘model bill’ banning cow-slaughter

Keeping up with one of BJP’s oldest agenda, the Prime Minister’s Office has consulted with the Law Ministry and has solicited its opinion on the feasibility of anti-cow slaughter bills, as enacted by states such as Gujarat, being advocated as model-laws by the Centre in other states for garnering all-India coverage through individual state legislations.

The Prime Minister’s Office, vis-à-vis a letter addressed to the Law Ministry has cited several provisions of the Constitutions which provide affirmation to a scheme for prohibition of cow slaughter and other milch animals.

Article 48 of the Constitution, which is a part of the Directive Principles of State Policy 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 letter sent by the PMO had asked for the Law Ministry’s advice and suggestions as to the feasibility of circulating the laws banning cow slaughter by a few states, in other states across the country as model bills/enactments which other states may take into consideration if they so wish to legislate on the subject.

PMO’s letter also referred to MirzapurMotiKureshiKassab judgment of the Supreme Court in 2005, which had validated the law banning cow slaughter in the State of Gujarat. The Government also cited a lot of precedents in favour of its argument that there is no express bar on the Centre from circulating model bills among states.

The Central Government also circulated a vast assortment of model bills pertaining to preservation of flood zones, ground water management and catering to other agendas of the Ministry of Water Resources as well as the NitiAayog. Several states have enacted their own set of laws along the lines of these model bills. With regard to cow-slaughter, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Maharashtra have banned it at the moment.

by Siddhartha Singh.