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HC disposes of PIL seeking enactment of law on cow slaughter

The High Court has disposed of a public interest litigation petition by an NGO seeking a direction on the government to enact a law prohibiting slaughter of cow and its progeny in Jammu and Kashmir.

The High Court directed the petitioner, SAVE, to raise its grievance before the Chief Secretary J&K by submitting a comprehensive representation in this regard.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal while disposing of the PIL ordered that the Chief Secretary on consideration of the representation will do the needful as observed by it.

The petitioner had further sought a direction to make slaughter of cow in J&K a cognizable offence with strict punishment.

After hearing Advocate S S Ahmed on behalf of the NGO and Advocate General D C Raina, the court said: “It is settled law that no writ of mandamus would lie for issuing direction for enacting a particular law. It is for the lawmakers i.e. the legislature of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to enact a law on a given subject. The said task cannot be given to any of the respondents”.

Underscoring that at present the legislature of the Union Territory of J&K is not in place, the court held that “at the moment no such law can be considered for being enacted”.

“The court cannot take upon the task of enacting the law itself or to issue any direction in this regard to any other authority as the same is only within the domain of the legislature of the Union Territory,” the DB said.

While advocate Ahmad relied on a judgment of the Supreme Court and submitted if there was any vacuum in law, the courts can certainly intervene and issue necessary directions, the Advocate General said the grievance of the petitioner could be taken care of by the Chief Secretary. “As and when the legislature comes into existence, the matter can be brought to its notice for due consideration,” the AG said.

After hearing the parties, the court held: “. . . we do not deem it necessary to keep this petition pending and dispose of the same with liberty to the petitioner to raise his grievance before the Chief Secretary by submitting a comprehensive representation in that regard who on consideration of the same will do the needful as observed.”

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