Scrap Anti-Cow Slaughter Bill/Act 2010

  • by: Syed Tanveeruddin
  • recipient: Supreme Court, President, PM, Kar Guv, CM, NHRC, KSHRC, NCM

Last Update: Fri, July 16, 2010 @ 06:05 hours Indian Std Time
http://www.petitiononline.com/kacattle/
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/scrap-draconian-cattle-bill-act-2010
http://www.petitiononline.com/cattleka/
Anti-cow slaughter Bill passed amid dharna The Hindu Friday, July 16, 2010
Anti-cow slaughter Bill passed amid dharna The Hindu Fri, Jul 16, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/16/stories/2010071651740400.htm
Karnataka, like several other states in the country (India), has always had an Act that puts restrictions on the slaughter of cows. There are two major differences between the two pieces of legislation (1964 and 2010).

The earlier/previous 1964 Act had its scope restricted to the slaughter of cows, calves of cows and calves of she-buffaloes, but allowed the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes if they were over 12 years of age or if they were no longer fit for breeding or draught or did not give milk.

The existing legislation of 1964 allows cows to be sold to slaughterhouses if they are over 12 years of age - by when they stop producing milk. Before the sale, cows have to be mandatorily certified by qualified veterinary doctors. The proposed legislation is a significant departure from the existing 1964 Act on several counts.

The other difference is the severity of the penalty. The maximum imprisonment for violating the provisions of the 1964 Act was 06 months whereas the 2010 Bill/Act prescribes imprisonment extending up to 07 years. It is this that has made people question the intentions of the State BJP (right wing) government as in the Indian Penal Code, imprisonment for such long terms is usually meant for crimes of a far more heinous nature.

The latest bill/law Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill / Act 2010
Virtually equates the killing of a cow with the murder of a human.
Draws the lines - us and them, the beef-eaters and those who don't, the killers (bad ones) and the pious/good ones. Reinforces those lines with the draconian, absolute and brutal police power of the State behind one particular section.
Removes any distinction between "cow" and "cattle".
Extends the prevention of slaughter of cow to "cattle", which it defines as "a cow, calf of a cow and bull, bull, bullock, buffalo he / she / male / female and calf of she-buffalo".

Criminalises
slaughter of all forms of cattle (cow, calf of a cow / bull / she-buffalo, bull, bullock, he/she buffalo).
slaughter of any cattle, irrespective of its age.
sale, usage and possession of beef.
sale, purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter.
food habits of millions of people to uphold the religious beliefs of a few.

Provides powers for search and seizure of any premises including vessels (utensils & refrigerators) and motor vehicles.
Accords powers to non-state actors - they are authorised to raid premises on mere suspicion.
Says police officials have/had the authority to search and seize cattle.

Dictates terms on food habits of people.
Imposes severe restrictions on even the cattle transportation or transport of cattle.

Makes the
offences cognisable and non-bailable.
punishment(s) equivalent to those to be given to an anti-national element.

Empowers the police to barge inside any house / premises on the slightest suspicion of possessing cattle / beef / beef products. With the power wielded by the police, it can prove disastrous as the onus of proving the innocence is on the accused.

Selectively
and seemingly challenges and attacks the food habits and rights of a section of the population, since it does not mention ritualistic killing of cattle, notably buffalos that goes on with impunity in temples across Karnataka.
targets the minorities and Dalits.

Infringes
upon/on the rights of the people.
upon the basic fundamental rights of people as guaranteed in/under the constitution.

Interferes in the food habits of people.
Deprives citizens the freedom to choose their food.
Burdens the farmers

Is
against the so-called secular character of the Constitution.
an attack on the so-called secularism.
communal in intent and anti-farmer in consequence.
draconian, unconstitutional, unsecular, unfair and undemocratic.
anti-poor, anti-farmer, anti-Dalit, anti-backward classes and anti-minority / minorities.
a hidden agenda of the RSS, BJP and Sangh Parivar.
highly discriminatory as it targets food habits of the most vulnerable and the weaker sections and minorities.
a move by the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] government in the State against minorities and backward castes.
less about the welfare of cattle and more about a hidden agenda that is all too familiar.

Appeases the priestly class and its right-wing constituency/constituencies.

Can/Could be misused
for targeting and harassing people and religious minorities.
by people to take personal revenge.

Seemingly makes backward, minorities and farmers slaves.

Will/Would
polarise society on communal lines.
act as  a spur to vigilante groups.
strengthen the hands of vigilante groups in certain parts of the Karnataka state that have been targeting minorities under the guise of protecting cattle. Many such groups are little more than mafia gangs that sport the facade of religion to prey on certain communities.
lead to more harassment and corruption as more power would be vested with officials, especially the local Sub-Inspectors.
discourage farmers from rearing cattle and lead to a shortage of milk.
polarize the majority and minority communities.
put farmers to hardship.

Clause  / Section 5 criminalises slaughter, usage / eating and  possession of beef or beef products.

Clause / Section 8 criminalises slaughter, sale, purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter when the seller or buyer in question has reason to believe that such cattle shall be slaughtered.

Penalty Clauses / Sections (Clauses / Sections 12 and 13)
did not exist in the earlier Act of 1964.
It deems slaughter or "cause to slaughter" of cattle a "cognisable and non-bailable" offence triable by the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class.

An offender may be imprisoned from 01-07 years and fined can range between Rs. 25,000-50,000 or Rs. 1 lakh.

Clause / Section 14
clearly states that "whoever abets any offence punishable under the Act or attempts to commit any such offence" also attracts punishment.
This clause leaves wide room for interpretation, and indeed misuse, on what exactly amounts to abetment. Any perceived "abetment" of slaughter or attempt to slaughter will also be punishable under the new law.

Clause / Section 18
provides for 'Establishment of institutions for taking care of cattle' (privatisation of cattle protection)
says that the Government may
direct associations and organisations to establish places to take care of cattle.
may levy such fees as may be prescribed for the maintenance of such institutions.

Farmers will/would be
barred from selling a cow or buffalo that is past its prime.
excessively burdened.

May make/force farmers to
pay a fee to an institution to maintain or to look after their aged cattle.
leave or hand over their old or injured cattle at 'goshalas' and pay for their upkeep every month.
keep the cattle with themselves till they die.

Bill/Act would
affect the livelihood of farmers.
spell economic doom for farmers.
make unproductive cattle an unbearable economic burden on the farmers.

Veterinary farms are likely to be handed over to organisations of dubious backgrounds.

Penalties are draconian and are open to misinterpretation and misuse.
First offence is punishable with imprisonment of 01-07 years or fine between Rs 25,000-50,000 or both.
Second and subsequent offence would attract a fine of not less than Rs 50,000 up to Rs one lakh along with imprisonment penalty.

The new bill among others enhances the penalty for contravention of the provisions of the 1964 Act from the present fine of Rs 1,000 and 06 months imprisonment, to a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 to one lakh and 01-07 years imprisonment.

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2708/stories/20100423270812100.htm
Right-wing groups in the Karnataka State use the cow slaughter issue to create communal tensions.

Karnataka, especially its coastal areas, has routinely been the target of right-wing groups who use the cow slaughter issue to create communal tensions. Skirmishes follow allegations of transporting of cows for slaughter.

In March 2005, a 60-year-old man and his son were stripped, paraded and beaten in public for trying to buy a calf in Udupi district. In another incident in May 2006 in the same district, an elderly Hindu man was killed for being a middleman in the sale of cows. The involvement of fundamentalist organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Yuva Sena was alleged in both these incidents.

The cow emerged as the rallying point for communal mobilisation in northern India in the late 19th century. It was the reason for riots on several occasions in pre-independent and post-independent India.

While most States across India have banned the slaughter of cows but not other cattle, it is legal to slaughter cows in Kerala, West Bengal and in the north-eastern States.

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main45.asp?filename=Ne100710holycow.asp

HOLIER THAN THE COW
What should draw our attention is that a democratically elected government that is bound by these so-called secular constitutional values is willing to criminalise food/cultural habits of millions of people to uphold the religious beliefs of a few.

More than 25% population depended on the milk business to eak out a living. Most of the cows that give milk last 04-05 years as per one media report. With the government making it illegal to sell cows, the onus of maintenance will completely shift to the poor farmers and agriculturist.

Harsh clauses of the 2010 Bill can/could be used to target religious minorities. Banning cow / cattle slaughter is going to send the practice underground and give birth to a new black market in which thugs, cops and govt. officers will thrive.

The cow / cattle may be sacred but what about pigs, goats, sheep, fish and chicken? They are god's creatures too. In fact in coastal areas fish is considered vegetarian!! How convenient. In a democracy, one community's wish cannot become the law for all. It is unfair and undemocratic.

CONCLUSION: In the light of the above-mentioned facts we the petition signers request all those concerned to scrap The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill / Act 2010 at the earliest.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This petition's been addressed to the Hon'ble Supreme Court, President, Prime Minister (PM), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), Karnataka Governor/Guv, Karnataka Chief Minister (CM), Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary Animal Husbandry and Union Law Ministry.

Last Update: Fri, July 16, 2010 @ 06:05 hours Indian Std Time
http://www.petitiononline.com/kacattle/
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/scrap-draconian-cattle-bill-act-2010
http://www.petitiononline.com/cattleka/
Anti-cow slaughter Bill passed amid dharna The Hindu Friday, July 16, 2010
Anti-cow slaughter Bill passed amid dharna The Hindu Fri, Jul 16, 2010
http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/16/stories/2010071651740400.htm
Karnataka, like several other states in the country (India), has always had an Act that puts restrictions on the slaughter of cows. There are two major differences between the two pieces of legislation (1964 and 2010).

The earlier/previous 1964 Act had its scope restricted to the slaughter of cows, calves of cows and calves of she-buffaloes, but allowed the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes if they were over 12 years of age or if they were no longer fit for breeding or draught or did not give milk.

The existing legislation of 1964 allows cows to be sold to slaughterhouses if they are over 12 years of age - by when they stop producing milk. Before the sale, cows have to be mandatorily certified by qualified veterinary doctors. The proposed legislation is a significant departure from the existing 1964 Act on several counts.

The other difference is the severity of the penalty. The maximum imprisonment for violating the provisions of the 1964 Act was 06 months whereas the 2010 Bill/Act prescribes imprisonment extending up to 07 years. It is this that has made people question the intentions of the State BJP (right wing) government as in the Indian Penal Code, imprisonment for such long terms is usually meant for crimes of a far more heinous nature.

The latest bill/law Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill / Act 2010
Virtually equates the killing of a cow with the murder of a human.
Draws the lines - us and them, the beef-eaters and those who don't, the killers (bad ones) and the pious/good ones. Reinforces those lines with the draconian, absolute and brutal police power of the State behind one particular section.
Removes any distinction between "cow" and "cattle".
Extends the prevention of slaughter of cow to "cattle", which it defines as "a cow, calf of a cow and bull, bull, bullock, buffalo he / she / male / female and calf of she-buffalo".

Criminalises
slaughter of all forms of cattle (cow, calf of a cow / bull / she-buffalo, bull, bullock, he/she buffalo).
slaughter of any cattle, irrespective of its age.
sale, usage and possession of beef.
sale, purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter.
food habits of millions of people to uphold the religious beliefs of a few.

Provides powers for search and seizure of any premises including vessels (utensils & refrigerators) and motor vehicles.
Accords powers to non-state actors - they are authorised to raid premises on mere suspicion.
Says police officials have/had the authority to search and seize cattle.

Dictates terms on food habits of people.
Imposes severe restrictions on even the cattle transportation or transport of cattle.

Makes the
offences cognisable and non-bailable.
punishment(s) equivalent to those to be given to an anti-national element.

Empowers the police to barge inside any house / premises on the slightest suspicion of possessing cattle / beef / beef products. With the power wielded by the police, it can prove disastrous as the onus of proving the innocence is on the accused.

Selectively
and seemingly challenges and attacks the food habits and rights of a section of the population, since it does not mention ritualistic killing of cattle, notably buffalos that goes on with impunity in temples across Karnataka.
targets the minorities and Dalits.

Infringes
upon/on the rights of the people.
upon the basic fundamental rights of people as guaranteed in/under the constitution.

Interferes in the food habits of people.
Deprives citizens the freedom to choose their food.
Burdens the farmers

Is
against the so-called secular character of the Constitution.
an attack on the so-called secularism.
communal in intent and anti-farmer in consequence.
draconian, unconstitutional, unsecular, unfair and undemocratic.
anti-poor, anti-farmer, anti-Dalit, anti-backward classes and anti-minority / minorities.
a hidden agenda of the RSS, BJP and Sangh Parivar.
highly discriminatory as it targets food habits of the most vulnerable and the weaker sections and minorities.
a move by the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] government in the State against minorities and backward castes.
less about the welfare of cattle and more about a hidden agenda that is all too familiar.

Appeases the priestly class and its right-wing constituency/constituencies.

Can/Could be misused
for targeting and harassing people and religious minorities.
by people to take personal revenge.

Seemingly makes backward, minorities and farmers slaves.

Will/Would
polarise society on communal lines.
act as  a spur to vigilante groups.
strengthen the hands of vigilante groups in certain parts of the Karnataka state that have been targeting minorities under the guise of protecting cattle. Many such groups are little more than mafia gangs that sport the facade of religion to prey on certain communities.
lead to more harassment and corruption as more power would be vested with officials, especially the local Sub-Inspectors.
discourage farmers from rearing cattle and lead to a shortage of milk.
polarize the majority and minority communities.
put farmers to hardship.

Clause  / Section 5 criminalises slaughter, usage / eating and  possession of beef or beef products.

Clause / Section 8 criminalises slaughter, sale, purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter when the seller or buyer in question has reason to believe that such cattle shall be slaughtered.

Penalty Clauses / Sections (Clauses / Sections 12 and 13)
did not exist in the earlier Act of 1964.
It deems slaughter or "cause to slaughter" of cattle a "cognisable and non-bailable" offence triable by the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class.


An offender may be imprisoned from 01-07 years and fined can range between Rs. 25,000-50,000 or Rs. 1 lakh.

Clause / Section 14
clearly states that "whoever abets any offence punishable under the Act or attempts to commit any such offence" also attracts punishment.
This clause leaves wide room for interpretation, and indeed misuse, on what exactly amounts to abetment. Any perceived "abetment" of slaughter or attempt to slaughter will also be punishable under the new law.

Clause / Section 18
provides for 'Establishment of institutions for taking care of cattle' (privatisation of cattle protection)
says that the Government may
direct associations and organisations to establish places to take care of cattle.
may levy such fees as may be prescribed for the maintenance of such institutions.

Farmers will/would be
barred from selling a cow or buffalo that is past its prime.
excessively burdened.

May make/force farmers to
pay a fee to an institution to maintain or to look after their aged cattle.
leave or hand over their old or injured cattle at 'goshalas' and pay for their upkeep every month.
keep the cattle with themselves till they die.

Bill/Act would
affect the livelihood of farmers.
spell economic doom for farmers.
make unproductive cattle an unbearable economic burden on the farmers.

Veterinary farms are likely to be handed over to organisations of dubious backgrounds.

Penalties are draconian and are open to misinterpretation and misuse.
First offence is punishable with imprisonment of 01-07 years or fine between Rs 25,000-50,000 or both.
Second and subsequent offence would attract a fine of not less than Rs 50,000 up to Rs one lakh along with imprisonment penalty.

The new bill among others enhances the penalty for contravention of the provisions of the 1964 Act from the present fine of Rs 1,000 and 06 months imprisonment, to a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 to one lakh and 01-07 years imprisonment.

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2708/stories/20100423270812100.htm
Right-wing groups in the Karnataka State use the cow slaughter issue to create communal tensions.

Karnataka, especially its coastal areas, has routinely been the target of right-wing groups who use the cow slaughter issue to create communal tensions. Skirmishes follow allegations of transporting of cows for slaughter.

In March 2005, a 60-year-old man and his son were stripped, paraded and beaten in public for trying to buy a calf in Udupi district. In another incident in May 2006 in the same district, an elderly Hindu man was killed for being a middleman in the sale of cows. The involvement of fundamentalist organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Yuva Sena was alleged in both these incidents.

The cow emerged as the rallying point for communal mobilisation in northern India in the late 19th century. It was the reason for riots on several occasions in pre-independent and post-independent India.

While most States across India have banned the slaughter of cows but not other cattle, it is legal to slaughter cows in Kerala, West Bengal and in the north-eastern States.

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main45.asp?filename=Ne100710holycow.asp


HOLIER THAN THE COW
What should draw our attention is that a democratically elected government that is bound by these so-called secular constitutional values is willing to criminalise food/cultural habits of millions of people to uphold the religious beliefs of a few.

More than 25% population depended on the milk business to eak out a living. Most of the cows that give milk last 04-05 years as per one media report. With the government making it illegal to sell cows, the onus of maintenance will completely shift to the poor farmers and agriculturist.

Harsh clauses of the 2010 Bill can/could be used to target religious minorities. Banning cow / cattle slaughter is going to send the practice underground and give birth to a new black market in which thugs, cops and govt. officers will thrive.

The cow / cattle may be sacred but what about pigs, goats, sheep, fish and chicken? They are god's creatures too. In fact in coastal areas fish is considered vegetarian!! How convenient. In a democracy, one community's wish cannot become the law for all. It is unfair and undemocratic.

CONCLUSION: In the light of the above-mentioned facts we the petition signers request all those concerned to scrap The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill / Act 2010 at the earliest.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This petition's been addressed to the Hon'ble Supreme Court, President, Prime Minister (PM), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), Karnataka Governor/Guv, Karnataka Chief Minister (CM), Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary Animal Husbandry and Union Law Ministry.

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