Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has granted a further one month’s time to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State governments to make the act of mischievously killing or maiming cattle, including cows, a non-bailable offence by amending Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code.
While dismissing a criminal revision petition on March 1, 2017, the High Court had directed both governments to take steps to amend Section 429 of the IPC to make the above offence non-bailable. Hyderabad High Court judge Justice Siva Sankara Rao maintained that there was no progress in this regard.
Justice B Siva Sankara Rao said cows are ‘substitute to mother and God’. He further said that cows have ‘national importance’ as well. ‘In this country – the Bharat, for those in belief who represent a majority of population, cow is a substitute to mother, who is a substitute to God, he observed.
He told this while dismissing the plea of a cattle trader Ramavath Hanuma who had moved the HC after a trial court in Nalgonda had rejected his petition for custody of 65 bovines which were seized from him. Hanuma insisted that the cattle seized from Kanchanapalli village were brought there for grazing. However the prosecution alleged that Hanuma, along with other accused, had bought the cattle from farmers for slaughtering them so that cow meat could be distributed during the Baqra’eid festival.
Justice Sankara held that time has come to amend the law with stringent penal consequences and strict enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and said veterinary doctors should be prosecuted for driving cows to slaughterhouses.
HC quoted from a Supreme Court order and said that it is a settled legal position that there is no fundamental right to Muslims to insist on slaughter of healthy cows on the occasion of Baqra’eid.