Beef ban: SC tells J&K High Court to form bench

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to form a three-judge bench to examine the validity of penal provisions that ban slaughtering of cattle and sale of beef in the state.

Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy put on hold for two months the order of the Jammu bench of the high court directing the state police chief to enforce the Ranbir Penal Code provisions banning beef in the state.

It said that the high court order asking police to strictly enforce the provision of Ranbir Penal Code which prohibits voluntary slaughtering and sale of bovine animals be kept in “abeyance” for two months.

The court passed the order after noting the conflicting orders passed by the Jammu and Srinagar benches of the high court.

The apex court order had come on the plea by the Jammu and Kashmir government (on September 30) seeking its intervention on the conflicting orders passed by the two benches on the pleas seeking enforcement of penal provisions prohibiting slaughtering and sale of beef in the state and other challenging it.

The state government had urged the apex court to either constitute a bench of the high court to hear the two matters or transfer to itself the matters and decide them.

The Jammu bench by its September 8 order had asked the director general of police to enforce the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) prohibiting voluntary slaughtering and sale of bovine animals.

The Srinagar bench by its September 16 order had issued notice to the state government on the plea challenging the RPC provision.

While issuing notice, it had said that the pendency of the matter challenging the vires of the RPC provision prohibiting slaughtering and sale of bovine animals would not come in the way if the state or state legislature contemplates to scrap or amend the provision.

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