The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday vacated its earlier order banning slaughter of bovines and tossed it to the state government to decide on whether to enforce a beef ban.
The court vacated its September 8 order calling for strict enforcement of Dogra era law banning slaughter of bovines and sale of beef in the state. The bench comprising justices M H Attar, Ali Mohammad Magray and Tashi Rabstan also disposed off a petition which challenged the cow slaughter act in the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).
The high court however gave directions to the government through the chief secretary to take appropriate steps for considering the issues raised in both the petitions.
In the order the judges maintained that India was a secular country and it was responsibility of the government to maintain its “secular nature”.
“If the parties, at the time of elections, can seek votes in return for the development and governance, then it is the responsibility of the elected government to uphold the secular credentials of the state, “ the court said .
The full bench was formed after Supreme Court, on October 5, asked the chief justice of the state high court to review the two “conflicting” orders on the matter by the Jammu and Srinagar benches.
While the high court’s Jammu bench had in September reiterated the colonial-era ban on sale and slaughter of bovines, the Srinagar bench had admitted a plea against the ban.
While passing the order, the Supreme Court had also maintained that the two conflicting orders could be misused to disturb peace in the state.