HC Directs Police to Enforce Beef Ban in J&K

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SRINAGAR: Challenging the prevalent practice in Jammu and Kashmir, JK High Court Wednesday imposed ban on sale of beef across state. The ban has put J&K on the same page with Maharashtra where the BJP-led government had imposed ban on the sale of beef and created a public outcry.

The ban came after a Public Interest Litigation against cow slaughter filed by Advocate Parimoksh Seth.   The PIL wanted that slaughtering or killing of bovine animals be made an offence punishable under section 298-A and possession of such slaughtered animal an act punishable under section 298-B of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).

 After hearing the counsel from both sides, the bench observed, “Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has not filed an appropriate response regarding the smuggling and slaughtering of bovine animal and subsequent their sale especially in Kashmir Valley”.

The PIL had said that the practice of slaughter of bovine animals was in violation of law but was allowed to continue unabated. It also reportedly alleged the connivance of authorities in this activity.

A Division Bench of JK High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal then directed DGP J&K to ensure that appropriate directions were given to all SSPs, SPs and SHOs of all districts and Police Stations in Jammu and Kashmir that there shall be no sale of beef across the state.

The court also posted the matter for listing after after four weeks.

Under section 298A of the RPC, intentionally killing or slaughtering a cow or like animal (including ox and buffalo) is a cognizable, non-bailable offence punishable with 10 years imprisonment and fine. Its section 298B says possessing the flesh such an animal is a cognizable, non-bailable offence punishable with imprisonment of one year and a fine.

The RPC was enacted in 1862 by the erstwhile Dogra king of the state while the IPC also came into force in India the same year.

The court also observed the divisional commissioner of Kashmir had not filed an appropriate response about smuggling, slaughtering of bovine animals and their subsequent sale in the Kashmir valley. 

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