With President Pranab Mukherjee according assent to the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 passed by Haryana Vidhan Sabha in March this year, the law prohibiting trafficking and slaughter of cow and eating of beef in the state has come into force. Hitender Rao takes a look at the various aspects of the legislation.
As per the enacted law:
Beef means flesh of cow in any form, including flesh of cow contained in sealed containers and imported in Haryana.
Cow includes a bull, bullock, ox, heifer or calf and a disabled, diseased or barren cow.
Beef products means product prepared from the beef.
Slaughter means killing by any method and includes maiming and inflicting physical injury which in the ordinary course may cause death. It is a cognisable and non-bailable offence.
Killing of a cow in an accident or self defence shall not be considered as a slaughter.
Rigorous imprisonment of minimum three years and maximum 10 years along with fine can be handed out to a person found guilty of cow slaughter or attempting to contravene or abet the contravention of provisions prohibiting slaughter. Those found guilty of exporting cow for slaughter can be handed out rigorous imprisonment of 3 to 7 years with fine while those found guilty of selling beef can attract rigorous imprisonment of 3 to 5 years and fine.
Sale of beef or offer to sell beef is prohibited except for such medicinal purposes and in such forms as may be prescribed.
Laboratories will be established by government for differentiation of beef from that of the meat of other species of animals.
Slaughter will not amount to an offence if a registered veterinary practitioner of the animal husbandry department certifies that the suffering of cow is such so as to render its destruction desirable or the animal is suffering from any notified contagious or infectious disease or is subjected to experimentation in the interest of medical, veterinary and public.
Export of cow will be allowed subject to issuance of a permit by the government. Reasons for their export, number of cows and name of the state will have to be stated by the exporter. Also, an undertaking will have to be given that the exported cows will not be slaughtered.
No permit for export of cows shall be issued for a state where cow slaughter is not banned by law.
Special permits for export of cows can be issued by the government in public interest.
WHY IT NEEDED PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT:
· It was reserved for the consideration and assent of the President by Haryana governor as it gave effect to a matter listed in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
· Article 31 (c) of the Constitution says that a law giving effect to the policy of the state towards securing directive principles which is made by the state legislature will have to be reserved for the consideration of the President for receiving his assent.
· The preservation and improvement of livestock, particularly the cow and calves, is listed in Article 48 under Directive Principles of State Policy.