Court admits petition challenging beef ban in J&K ‘No objection if...

Court admits petition challenging beef ban in J&K ‘No objection if legislators repeal law’

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Srinagar, Sep 16, CNS: Jammu and Kashmir High Court Wednesday while giving a week's time to the state government to file its response to a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of the section 298 A&B of the Ranbir Penal Code, which criminalizes bovine slaughter and sale of beef in the state said that if legislators wish they can go ahead and repeal the law enacted in 1896 banning the slaughter of bovine animals in Jammu and Kashmir.

     A division bench of justice Mohammad Yaqoub Mir and justice Bhansi Lal Bhat issued the notice after hearing a writ petition filed by a retired Professor Afzal Qadri through advocate Syed Faisal Qadri.

    Advocate Syed Faisal, the counsel for the petitioner told CNS that the importance of the Court directions lies in the fact that it threw the ball in the court of State Legislators. “The High Court said that it will have no objection if legislators will go ahead and repeal the old law,” Faisal said.

    He said the division bench after hearing the arguments issued notice to the state for filing reply within a week's time and has ordered for listing of the petition again.

Faisal said the Court observed that the respondent state would be free to amend or repeal the impugned legislation and the pendency of the the petition in the court will not come in its way. "The court admitted the petition and gave a week's time to the government to file its response," Faisal Qadri added.

    In the petition it has been prayed that "a writ or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, be issued for declaring section 298-A, 298-B, 298-C and 298-D of the Ranbir Penal Code as ultra vires to the constitution of India as well as to the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and accordingly strike down the said provisions from the Ranbir Penal Code forthwith."

    Prof. Afzal Qadri, who has retired as professor of law from the University of Kashmir had filed a petition seeking the annulment of Dogra law that forbids people from slaughtering bovine animals. (CNS)