Supreme Court to Hear Beef Ban Petitions By JK Govt Next Week
Beef ban protests in Jammu and Kashmir
NEW DELHI: Ahead of the autumn session of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, the Supreme Court ruling to hear a plea on two "conflicting" orders of the High Court in the beef row has come as a big relief for the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court will on Monday next hear the case pertaining to two distinct orders by Jammu and Srinagar wings of the High Court regarding the slaughter of bovine animals and enforcement of a ban on beef sale in the state.
Flagging the "inconsistency" in the orders, the state government brought a petition before a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu and sought an urgent hearing. "List it on Monday," the bench, which also comprised Justice Arun Mishra, said.
In the petition, the J&K government, through its counsel and senior advocate, Amarendra Sharan, had argued that the two orders were being "misused" to disturb peace and communal harmony in the state.
"Jammu & Srinagar Benches of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court ..... have passed two mutually conflicting orders which have grave ramifications for the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir as the orders are being misused and interpreted in a manner so as to disturb the peaceful fabric of the State," the petition reads.
The Jammu bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had ordered police to strictly enforce the existing ban on the sale of beef in the state while the Srinagar bench had issued a notice to the state government on a petition seeking scrapping of the provision in Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) that criminalise slaughter of bovine animals.
The decision of the apex court has come as a huge relief for the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led coalition government which came under severe criticism recently for banning internet for three days on Eid over the beef row.
Senior National Conference leader Ali Mohammad Sagar and independent legislator Engineer Rashid have submitted separate bills for striking down the provisions of RPC on bovine slaughter.
The bills will come up for discussion during the autumn session of the legislature which commences from October 3.
"The apex court recently ordered that the law can't force meat ban down someone's throat. The law can't have different standards," a senior PDP leader and cabinet minister told The Citizen.
He said the SC order is "right step at the right time" and hoped that the decision of the apex court will help the government in "burying the matter", which has polarised the Jammu and Kashmir regions along communal lines.