Gujarat to Tighten Cow Slaughter Law

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 By Mahesh Langa

New Bill makes it an offence punishable with life imprisonment, bigger fine.

If the newly elected BJP government in Uttar Pradesh launched a crackdown on illegal slaughter houses immediately after the Assembly polls, another BJP-ruled State, Gujarat, which goes to the polls later this year, came up with an amendment to make cow slaughter an offence punishable with life term, a first in the country.

The most stringent provision in the amendment Bill is awarding maximum imprisonment up to life, but not less than 10 years, to those found involved in slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks.

The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Assembly in the absence of Opposition members who were suspended from the House on the last day of the budget session, has also made cow slaughter, transportation of cow or beef and beef products a cognisable and non-bailable offence.

Forfeiture of vehicles

The Bill also bans transportation of animals from one place to another at night while providing for permanent forfeiture of vehicles involved in the transportation of progeny of cows, beef and beef products.

It has also proposed a fine which “may extend to ₹5 lakh but shall not be less than ₹1 lakh” for those found guilty of cow slaughter.

In the statement of objects of the Bill, the government noted that “it is considered necessary to provide for more deterrent punishment for offences committed by contravening the provisions of the Act and also to make the offences cognisable and non-bailable.”

Under the existing Gujarat Animal Preservation Act 1954, which was amended in 2011 by the then government headed by Narendra Modi, the maximum jail term for cow slaughter was seven years, but not less than three years.

However, seeking more stringent provisions, the government noted that curbing the menace of illegal slaughter required a tougher law.

“The Gujarat Assembly passed a cow protection Bill, among the most stringent in the country, making cow slaughter a life-time punishable offence,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said, adding, “Protection of cows is the single most important principle towards saving the whole world from both moral and spiritual degradation.”

Piloting the amendment Bill in the Assembly, junior Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said, “Cows don’t only have a religious significance but also economic significance in our society and it is utmost necessary to enhance penal action to deter those involved in slaughtering cows and their progeny.”

The article was originally published in The Hindu on 1 April, 2017 at:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-assembly-passes-bill-that-punishes-cow-slaughter-with-7-years-jail-term/article17749696.ece

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12










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