New Delhi: The Government on Friday said the preservation of cattle is a matter on which states have exclusive powers to legislate.
In a written reply to a question on whether cow slaughter is legally banned all over the country, Union Minister of State (MoS) Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan stated, “Under the distribution of legislative powers between the Union of India and States under Article 246(3) of the Constitution, the preservation of cattle is a matter on which the legislature of the States has exclusive powers to legislate. Therefore, it is up to the States to enact laws on slaughter of cows.”
“All States/Union Territories have legislations on slaughter of cows except five states – Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and one Union Territory that is Lakshadweep,” Balyan said.
To a question about the names of the states where there are instances of cow slaughter despite the ban and the legal remedy available to stop or check this violation, Baliyan said, “The Ministry has not received any such information. However, States have enacted laws banning cow slaughter and provision of penalizing the accused person has been provided in the State act.”
“Further, Police and Public Order are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and therefore, the State Governments are primarily responsible for prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and for prosecuting the criminals through the machinery of their law. Enforcement agencies, as also for protecting the life and property of the citizens,” he said.
To a question regarding the instructions that have been issued to state/police authorities including Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir government in this regard, the Minister said, “As per article 48 of Indian Constitution the state shall endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving improving the breed, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”
“In view of the aforementioned Constitutional arrangement, the central government has not issued any instruction to the States,” he added.