HC Forms 3 Member Bench To Resolve Beef Row

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SRINAGAR: Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Saturday constituted a three-member bench to address the beef ban issue that had snowballed into a major political controversy. 

The Registrar General issued a notification and constituted “full bench” comprising, Justice Ali Mohammad Magray, Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Muzuffar Attar. Bench will hear on petitions on beef ban issue in the state on October 16.

The bench comprising Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar, Ali Muhammad Magrey and Tashi Rabstan has been formed in compliance to the directions by Supreme Court which had suspended for two months a J&K high court order asking state authorities to enforce a law criminalizing bovine slaughter and sale and possession of beef in the state.

The apex court had asked the Chief Justice of the J&K high court to set up a three-judge bench to decide on the two conflicting orders regarding two writ petitions in the issue.

The apex court had passed the order while disposing of the special leave petitions filed by the state government, which had said the inconsistent views of the two benches of the high court were being “misused to disturb peace and communal harmony in the state”.

While a division bench of the high court at Jammu on September 8 ordered enforcement of the beef ban law, a bench at Srinagar had week later issued a notice to the government on a petition seeking the court’s direction to abrogate the law—Sections 298 A to D of the Ranbir Penal Code (regulating ban on bovine slaughter and beef sale in the State). 

Opposition National Conference, independent legislator, Sheikh Abdul Rashid and CPI (M) legislator, Mohammad Yusuf Taragami also submitted separate bills in the state assembly secretariat seeking to scrap the ban on beef in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the bills were not taken up for the discussion in the assembly. The opposition blamed the ruling PDP –BJP alliance for sabotaging the bill in the assembly. 

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