Karnataka’s cattle slaughter ordinance unconstitutional, says former Supreme Court judge

Published : January 12, 2021 19:27 IST

Kodihalli Chandrashekar, the president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Justice (retd) V. Gopala Gowda and the nutritionist and food scientist K.C. Raghu at an event the KRRS organised on January 10 in Bengaluru to protest against the recent ordinance that bans cattle slaughter in Karnataka. Photo: Sudhakara Jain

SPEAKING at an event the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha organised on January 10 to protest against the recent draconian ordinance that bans cattle slaughter in Karnataka, V. Gopala Gowda, a former judge of the Supreme Court, said: “The ordinance is against the fundamental rights and directive principles of the Constitution. The Governor [of Karnataka] has exceeded his authority in promulgating this ordinance. It will be challenged in the Supreme Court.” The focus of the event was to draw attention to how the ban on cattle slaughter will severely affect the livelihood of farmers who will now be saddled with taking care of cattle even when they are no longer productive.

Gopala Gowda was also critical of the manner in which the ordinance was brought into effect. “What was the need for the Governor to approve this ordinance where there was no urgent need? While the Bill [The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020] was passed in the Legislative Assembly, it could not be passed in the Legislative Council. This is why the BJP used the ordinance route,” the retired judge stated. Governor Vajubhai Vala promulgated the ordinance on January 5.

The nutritionist and food scientist K.C. Raghu also spoke at the event. “In the country, more than 40 crore people eat beef. There are Brahmins, Dalits, Christians and Muslims who eat beef. Even in Brahmin scriptures, there is mention of beef eating. Thus, it is not correct to destroy the livelihoods of farmers and Muslims in the country by banning cattle slaughter. This move will also destroy the dairy farming industry in the State,” he said.

Speaking to mediapersons at a separate event on the same day, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress came out strongly against the ban on cattle slaughter. “BJP members are involved in the import and export of beef. But they are behaving as if only one community [Muslims] is involved in cow slaughter,” he said.