Court issues notice to Jammu and Kashmir govt over petition challenging cow slaughter Act

Jammu and Kashmir High Court today gave a week’s time to the state government to file its response to a writ petition seeking to strike down the Constitutional provisions criminalising bovine slaughter in the state.

The notice was issued by a division bench comprising justices Mohammad Yaqoub Mir and Bhansi Lal Bhat after hearing a writ petition filed by Afzal Qadri through his advocate Syed Faisal Qadri seeking to strike down the relevant provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) which criminalises the slaughter of bovines.

The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday issued a notice to the state government over a petition challenging Cow Slaughter Act.

Annoucing its decision on a petition challenging 298 A and 298 B of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), the court gave government a week’s time to respond to the petition.
In his petition, Qadri said, the said provisions have a direct interference with the personal liberty of the petitioner in as much as it allows an intrusion into the religious as well as private life. “The said provisions are further excessive in nature apart from being discriminatory and prejudicial to the rights guaranteed to the petitioner under Article 14 of the Constitution. Furthermore, the said provisions curtail and criminalise the right to profess and propagate ones religion, which otherwise is a fundamental right,” he said.
The petitioner said the said provisions have no nexus with the Article 48 of the Constitution and therefore cannot be a basis to criminalise an act of a citizen which otherwise is provided to him by the divine law of nature in the nature of his religious practices and rituals. Last week, a division bench of High Court in Jammu ordered the police to strictly enforce the beef ban in the state. The court order triggered angry reactions in the Valley with the separatist and religious groups terming it as “interference in religious affairs”.

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