The Supreme Court has refused to pass directions to prohibit the slaughter of cow progeny, saying this is for the competent legislature to decide and the court cannot compel them to come out with a particular law.
While disposing of an appeal, it said as far as the prayer for taking steps to save and conserve critically endangered indigenous species of livestock is concerned, it will be open for the appellant to make a representation to the state governments concerned.
A bench of justices A S Oka and Sanjay Karol passed the order while hearing an appeal against the August 2018 order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which had considered the common stand taken by the Centre and the states regarding the protection of indigenous cows, and said no further directions were required.
The NGT had passed the order on an application seeking several directions, including taking immediate steps to save and conserve critically endangered indigenous species of livestock and to ensure that milch cattle of indigenous breeds are not slaughtered.
The top court observed that the NGT had referred to the National Livestock Policy, 2013 and also recorded that some of the states have their own anti-slaughtering laws and none of them were opposing the idea of protecting the indigenous cows.
“Now, what remains is the prayer made by the appellant regarding prohibiting the slaughter of cow progeny. We may observe that this is something which is for the competent legislature to decide.
“Even in writ jurisdiction, this court cannot compel the legislature to come out with a particular legislation. Ultimately, it is for the appellant to persuade the legislature,” the bench said in its July 11 order.
The apex court said after perusing the NGT order as well as various facts on record, it find that no further directions were required to be issued in the matter.
While disposing of the appeal, it said as far as the prayer for taking steps to save and conserve critically endangered indigenous species of livestock is concerned, it will be open for the appellant to make a representation to the concerned state governments.
The bench noted in its order that the NGT had extensively referred to the proceedings of a June 2013 joint meeting of all stakeholders to discuss the formulation of a national policy with regard to the protection of indigenous species of cows and livestock.
“In fact, it is mentioned in the minutes that there is an increase in the population of the cows. It also notes that the policy of the Government of India is to develop indigenous species of cows,” the bench noted.
It said after the apex court had issued a notice in the matter, the states have filed their response and have highlighted the steps taken by them for the protection of indigenous cows.
“The tribunal after dealing with the grievance of the appellant has come to the conclusion that no specific direction was required to be issued. Now, what is observed by the tribunal is now supported by the stand taken by various state governments on the steps taken by them,” the bench said.