The Supreme Court on Monday will hear Jammu and Kashmir government’s plea against “conflicting orders” issued by two benches of the state high court on beef ban in the state.
Acting on a PIL, the high court’s Jammu bench on September 8 had asked police to strictly enforce the ban on selling beef as laid out in the Ranbir Penal Code. A week later, the Srinagar bench issued a notice to the state government on another PIL seeking to strike down the constitutional provisions criminalising bovine slaughter in the state.
On September 30, an SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu agreed to hear the state’s petition on October 5 after senior advocate Amarendra Sharan pointed out inconsistencies in orders issued by the two benches of the high court.
The PDP-BJP government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was forced to seek the top court’s intervention so that “communal harmony is not disrupted” by inconsistent judicial pronouncements. J-K, which enjoys special status, has a separate constitution and criminal code — the Ranbir Penal Code.
Stumped by conflicting orders, the state government has requested the SC to “ensure that there is uniformity and consistency in the judicial pronouncements and there is no scope to exploit the present situation by disrupting communal harmony, amity and peace in the state.”
The PDP-BJP government has requested the top court to decide the matter itself or set up an HC bench to settle the contentious orders, which, it said, had grave ramifications for the law and order situation in the state. The orders were being misused and interpreted to disrupt the peaceful fabric of the state, it said.
There was a realistic possibility of the HC delivering two judgments, mutually contradictory, since two separate benches, were seized of the respective petitions, the state government contended.