The ASG said he would take instructions from the government and place the facts before the court.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre whether the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (care and maintenance of case property animals) Rules 2017, were placed before Parliament for its consideration prior to the notification.
A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought the response of additional solicitor general P.S. Narasimha when counsel V.K. Biju brought to the notice of the court that the government had not placed the rules in Parliament and without Parliament approval, the rules could not be given effect to.
The bench was hearing an application filed by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi seeking clarification of its July 11 order staying Centre’s two notifications banning cattle sale for slaughter in livestock markets. The court agreed to consider the application when it was brought to the notice that the Madurai bench of the Madras high court had stayed only one rule and not as was projected in the hearing on July 11.
On July 11, the apex court had extended for the whole country the high court’s stay of Centre’s two notifications — Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (care and maintenance of case property animals) Rules 2017.
It was submitted that only Rule 22 b (iii) and 22 (e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, had been challenged before the Madurai bench of the high court, which granted interim stay. The other rule was not at all challenged in the high court.
The Bench took note of the Centre’s stand that the Rules in the present form will not be implemented as several stakeholders have raised objections, which are being considered. He said a fresh notification incorporating the amendments will be issued by the end of August and all the concerns will be addressed
On July 11, the apex Court made it clear that the interim order passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court staying Centre’s May 23 notification, banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, will remain in force and will be applicable throughout the country. The apex court had disposed of petitions filed by Hyderabad based Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, advocate and President of All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee and others seeking a declaration that the rules are unconstitutional and illegal.
During Friday’s hearing Justice Chandrachud told the ASG that under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act it is mandatory for the government to place the rules before Parliament for its approval. Though the Centre can notify the rules the same would be subject to Parliament approval, Justice Chandrachud added. The ASG said he would take instructions from the government and place the facts before the court. The Bench granted a week’s time for the ASG’s response.