Bengaluru, Jan 18 (IANS) The anti-cow slaughter ordinance came into effect in Karnataka on Monday, with provisions of up to seven years in jail and (or) a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh for those ‘illegally’ involved in cow slaughtering, smuggling or selling of beef in the state.
“All provisions of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020 to come into force from January 18,” the Karnataka government has said in an order.
The new amended law bans transportation of cattle within Karnataka or to other states. The transportation is allowed only with due permission from the competent authority and against the payment of fee, if the purpose is to use cattle only for the agricultural or animal husbandry activities.
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020, which envisages a ban on all forms of cattle slaughter and stringent punishment for offenders, is a revised version of a Bill that was passed in 2010 when the BJP was in power.
Subsequently in 2013, Congress came to power and the BJP’s 2010 contentious Bill was shelved. The Congress had reverted to the less stringent Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation of Animals Act, 1964, which allows cow slaughter with certain restrictions.
While the 1964 law banned the killing of “any cow or calf of she-buffalo”, it allowed the slaughter of bullock, buffalo-male or female if it was certified by a competent authority to be above the age of 12 years or incapacitated for breeding or deemed sick.
Due to lack of majority in the Upper House, the ruling BJP was unable to move this Bill there and decided to take an Ordinance route and promulgated the Ordinance on December 28.
After the state Cabinet passed it, the Ordinance was sent for the approval of the Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala. The Ordinance was formally approved on January 5 and it is coming into effect in the state from Monday onwards.
According to the order, three to seven years imprisonment and a fine starting from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh can be imposed under this law and subsequent repeat offences can invite fines up to Rs 10 lakh.
The amended Act states that the slaughter of cows and calves are not allowed while the slaughter of buffaloes above 13 years is allowed.
The Act however is ambiguous on the part of consumption of beef, as it does not specify or prohibit the consumption of beef.
The Act states that slaughtering of buffalo above the age of 13 years, cattle that suffer from incurable disease, and for experimental or research purposes by recognised institutes is allowed.
Karnataka Law Minister J. C. Madhuswamy said: “When slaughter of buffalo above 13 years is allowed, how can we close down Cattle slaughter house in the state or be complete ban on beef ban?”
“Illegal selling, transportation or culling of cows has been made punishable. If a cow has contracted a disease, which can spread to other cattle, then it can be culled or slaughtered,” the Act said.
The amended Act has a provision to set up special courts for the speedy trial of the accused.It also makes provision for setting up Goshala or cattle-sheds for the protection of livestock.
Police have been given powers to conduct checking and most importantly the law also gives protection to those who protect these livestock.
The Act also allows a competent authority to monitor atrocities on cattle, receive complaints as well as to issue permits to transportation of cattle.
Karnataka in its order said that the Act is aimed to provide comprehensive legislation for the prevention of slaughter and preservation of cattle in the state.