Jammu and Kashmir High Court today constituted a three-judge bench that will hear on October 16 a petition against beef ban in the state which has been divided along religious lines over the issue.
The Supreme Court had on October 5 asked the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to constitute a three-judge bench to resolve the beef ban issue after Division Benches of the HC — one in Srinagar and another in Jammu — were divided over the matter.
The three-judge bench comprises Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Tashi Rabstan.
The bench has been constituted after the Supreme Court kept in abeyance for two months the September 9 order of a Division Bench of the state High Court directing the police authorities to enforce the more than century-old beef ban in the state.
In its order, the High Court’s Division Bench at Jammu had on September 9 asked the state police chief to “strictly enforce” the existing laws (sections 298 A to D of the J&K Ranbir Penal Code) regulating ban on bovine slaughter and beef sale in the state.
However, a week later, another Division Bench of the HC in Srinagar had admitted a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of the penal sections regulating ban on bovine slaughter and beef sale and issued notices to the state government directing it to file a response within one week.
With the Division Benches of Srinagar and Jammu being divided over the issue, the state government had approached the Supreme Court.