Assam, July 13: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill 2021 in the state assembly.
The Assam Chief Minister tabled the bill in the assembly on the first day of the budget session, seeking to bring in a cow protection law in the state on the lines of similar legislations in BJP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh.
The new legislation has included legal provisions to regulate slaughter, consumption, transportation of cattle in the state.
According to the bill, “No person shall transport or offer transport or cause to be transported any cattle without a valid permit from any place of other states through Assam to any place outside the state of Assam, any place within the state of Assam to any place outside the state of Assam where the slaughter of cattle is not regulated by law.”
“No person shall transport or offer for transport or cause to be transported any cattle from any place of another state to any place within the state the slaughter whereof is punishable under this act. The competent authority may issue permits for the transport of cattle for bonafide agricultural or animal husbandry purposes as prescribed in the rules framed under this act. The cattle shall be transported in the manner prescribed by the Central Government rules, governing the transport of cattle under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960,” said in the bill.
The bill proposes of prohibition of the slaughter of cattle in places other than a slaughterhouse, prohibition on the sale of beef and beef products.
“No person shall directly or indirectly sell or offer or expose for sale or buy beef or beef products in any form except at places permitted to do so by the competent authority. No such permission shall be granted in such area or areas which are predominately inhabited by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and other non-beef eating communities or within a radius of 5 km of any temple, satra, or other religious institutions belonging to the Hindu religion or any other institution or area as may be prescribed by the competent authority,” said in the bill.
Violations of the bill could lead to at least 3 years of imprisonment and this term may extend to 8 years. The prohibitions have to pay the fine which will not be less than Rs 3 lakh and may extend to Rs 5 lakh or with both.
The bill is also proposing the establishment of an institution including Gaushals for taking care of cattle.
“The state the government may establish or direct any local authority or permit society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1960, or any Central Act or any association or organization to establish an institution including Gaushals at such places as may be deemed necessary for taking care of the cattle to be housed thereto,” said in the bill.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that “Article 48 of the Constitution of India which enshrines one of the Directive Principles of State Policy lays down that the state shall endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. In the light of the experience over the years and in view of the shortcomings which have been observed, it is considered that there is an imperative need to enact legislation to include sufficient legal provisions to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle by repealing the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950. Accordingly, it is proposed to enact legislation to include enough legal provisions to regulate the slaughter, consumption and transportation of cattle.”
Cattle are revered in our society from time immemorial.
Respecting our deep-rooted belief system & agricultural necessity, we've tabled Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 in Assembly to regulate slaughter, consumption & transportation of cattle. https://t.co/M1RfYmbps7
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 12, 2021
On the other hand, Assam Water Resources minister Pijush Hazarika said that the Cattle Preservation Bill has been tabled in the assembly.
“Discussions and debate over the bill will be held in the assembly and all things of the bill will become out during the debate. No unconstitutional provisions have been made in this bill,” Pijush Hazarika said.