Amid protests from the opposition, the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill was passed in the state Legislative Council on Monday. While this bill was cleared by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on December 9, 2020, the government deferred tabling this bill in the Legislative Council reportedly owing to the lack of support from JD(S). When newly elected Deputy Chairman MK Pranesh called for a vote on this bill, several opposition leaders came to the well of the House, started sloganeering and tore copies of the legislation.
While a total of 31 MLCs belonging to Congress and JD(S) were present in the House as compared to 28 from the ruling BJP, the former failed to demand a division of votes. Thus, the bill was passed through voice vote. However, it remains unclear as to whether the HD Deve Gowda-led party wanted to oppose or abstain during the voting process. The bill will replace The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020 promulgated on January 5. Repealing the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 (Karnataka Act 35 of 1964), it entails strict penalties. The Karnataka government has made it clear that beef consumption and slaughterhouses has not been outlawed.
Read: Karnataka Min Orders To Withdraw Cases Against 'gau Rakshaks' After Cow Slaughter Law
Here are key provisions of the bill:
- Cattle has been defined as "cow, calf of a cow, bull and bullock of all ages and he or she buffalo below the age of thirteen years".
- The slaughter of cattle is prohibited. The exemptions are cattle operated upon for vaccine lymph or research. purpose at a government-recognized institution, suffering from a disease, and buffalo above the age of 13 years.
- The transport, sale, purchase, and disposal of cattle for slaughter is prohibited.
- In case of conviction of a person, the confiscated cattle, vehicle, premises, and materials will be forfeited to the state government.
- All offences are cognizable and no suit will be instituted against the competent authority exercising powers under this ordinance.
- If a person contravenes provisions of this ordinance, he faces a jail term of 3-7 years or a fine of Rs.50,000-Rs.5 lakh or both.
- The Karnataka government can establish institutions to take care of cattle. Every existing gaushala will get registered with the registering officer within three months from the commencement of this ordinance.
Read: Karnataka HC Issues Notice To Govt On Plea Challenging Anti-cattle Slaughter Ordinance
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