The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking either a total ban on slaughter of cattle or framing of a uniform policy to protect and preserve them from slaughtering and smuggling.
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana said it cannot direct states to frame law banning slaughter of cattle.
Various orders have been passed by the apex court in the past on measures to be adopted to prevent illegal inter-state transportation of the cattle, the bench said, while refusing to entertain the PIL filed by Vineet Sahai, a Delhi resident.
During a brief hearing, the counsel for Sahai referred to inconsistencies in various state laws on slaughter and transportation of cattle.
He said in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the statutes were stringent while in neighboring Kerala, slaughter was allowed, which led to illegal inter-state smuggling of cattle.
The plea, filed through lawyers S Usha Reddy and Sarvesh Bisaria, has sought a direction to the Centre to frame "a uniform policy throughout India for protection of cattle and to preserve them for all purpose instead of slaughtering them and exporting the said cattle in market, despite the fact that we have the provisions under the Constitution ...to protect and increase our cattle".
"Some states allow the slaughter of cattle with restrictions like a 'fit-for-slaughter' certificate which may be issued depending on factors like age and gender of cattle, continued economic viability etc. Others completely ban cattle slaughter, while there is no restriction in a few states," it said adding that the prohibition of cow slaughter is part of the Directive Principles of State Policy under Constitution.
The plea had sought "a total ban on slaughtering of milch and draught cattle including calves; or in alternative, issue a writ of mandamus, directing the respondents to frame an uniform policy for banning the slaughtering and preservation of milch and draught cattle which includes calves".
The apex court, while hearing another PIL, had asked the Centre to frame rules to stop illegal inter-state and inter-nation transportation of cattle. It was hearing a PIL that had alleged that a large number of cattle was exported illegally to Nepal for Gadhimai festival held once in five years.