Haryana plans stricter law on cow slaughter
The Haryana government on Tuesday approved the addition of stricter provisions to a 2015 anti-cow slaughter law, authorising the police to seize a vehicle involved in the transportation of animals for slaughtering and search the premises used for such a purpose, according to a government statement.
The existing Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015, prohibits cow slaughter, trafficking and consumption of beef in the state.
A cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar gave nod to the amendment in the 2015 Act in order to make it “more stringent and practical”, the government release said. The new bill will be called the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had enacted this law soon after coming to power in the state in 2015. According to the 2015 Act, anyone found guilty of cow slaughter may be given rigorous imprisonment (RI) ranging from three to 10 years. Those found guilty of exporting cows for slaughter may be given three to seven years of RI with a fine while it could be three to five years of RI and a fine for selling beef.
Sunil Gulati, additional chief secretary, Haryana animal husbandry and dairy department, confirmed that the amendment approved by the cabinet would make the law more stringent.
The proposed amendment will introduce the word beef in Section 16 (1) (a) of the Act to ensure that perpetrators of cow slaughter do not get away, officials said.
Haryana has around three lakh cows in its 400 gaushalas, along with around 1.5 lakh stray ones and 18 lakh at homes.
In the 2015 Act, a ban was imposed on the sale of canned beef , which was legal under the previous Congress government.
According to the amendment, any police officer not below the rank of the sub-inspector or any person authorised by the government, may enter, stop and search any vehicle used or intended to be used for the sale of cows or beef, the government release said. “He may seize cows or beef along with the vehicle in which the animal or its flesh is found and, thereafter, take all measures necessary for securing the production of the cows or beef so seized in a court.”
Whenever an offence punishable under this Act is committed, a report about the same without delay be made by the person seizing it to the competent authority, says the new amendment. Before the confiscation of the vehicle, a “reasonable opportunity of being heard” will be afforded to its owner, according to amendment. Gulati said the amendment will also replace the word “confiscated” with “seizure” in Sections 17 (1) and (2) in the law.
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