Apex court to hear plea to modify its order on July 24
: The Supreme Court on Friday said that it would hear on July 24 the plea seeking modification of its direction by which the stay order of Madras High Court on Centre's notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter was extended across the country.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud was hearing the plea which said the Madurai Bench of the High Court had only stayed the operation of one of the two notifications, that is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, which is also referred to as Livestock Market Rules.
"The issue which we are considering is very very limited," the bench said, adding, one of the notifications had already been stayed by the Madras High Court and it had upheld the same as Centre did not oppose.
The bench said that it would deal on July 24 the plea of animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi which alleged that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, also referred to as the Case Property Rules, was not challenged before the High Court.
The Case Property Rules deal with the issue of care and treatment of those animals which are seized by law enforcement agencies for offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The Livestock Market Rules pertain to the sale and purchase of animals at the notified livestock markets.
The petition has submitted that the July 11 order was passed on the basis of "an incorrect assumption and belief" that both the rules were challenged before the High Court.
"Allow the application and clarify the order passed by this Court on July 11 to the effect that the order passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on May 30 is restricted to the operation of Rule 22(b)(iii) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017," it said.
Earlier, the apex court had extended to the entire country the Madras High Court order staying the May 23 notification of the Centre banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter.
The order had come after the Centre had asserted that it was not seeking lifting of the stay on the notification by the High Court but was rather looking at it afresh by considering objections and suggestions.
The court had then disposed of the plea of Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, President of Hyderabad-based All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, challenging the constitutional validity of 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017' issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The apex court had said the amended rules, to be notified later, would be also open to challenge before it.
The Centre had on May 23 issued the two notifications.
The plea had said that the Rules unconstitutionally prohibited the sale of cattle for slaughter imposing absolute ban on the purchase of the animal and violated the fundamental rights of freedom of choice of food.
It was also said the Rules tend to regulate livestock markets with an intention of preserving protecting and improving stocks, though the legislation was earmarked for the state legislature.