Decided on December 02,1993

District Magistrate, Kanpur Dehat And Others Respondents


- (1.)THIS writ petition has been filed with a prayer for mandamus directing the respondents to renew the petitioner's licence for running the slaughter house at village Moosa Nagar, district Kanpur Dehat Counter affidavit and rejoinder affidavit have been exchanged and we have perused the same and have heard the counsel for the parties. The petitioner has alleged that he holds a licence for a slaughter house for slaughtering certain animals (sic) bulls, bullocks and buffaloes above the age of 15 years. True copy of the licence issued to the petitioner by the Zila Parishad Kanpur Dehat is Annexure No. 1 to the writ petition. The petitioner has alleged that he has not violated any bye -laws of the Zila Parishad and has been running the slaughter house in the premises sanctioned and maintained by the Zila Parishad, Kanpur Dehat. A police report has also been made in favour of the petitioner, a true copy of which is Annexure No. 2 to the writ petition. It has been alleged in para 10 of the writ petition that the respondents are preventing the petitioner from carrying on his business of running the slaughter house. In para 11 of the writ petition it is alleged that the respondents have arbitrarily closed the slaughter house by the orders of the S.D.M., Kanpur Dehat without any notice on 12.1.1992. The licence of the petitioner expired on 31.3.1992. The Upper Mukhya Adhikari, Zila Parishad, Kanpur Dehat had written a letter dated 7.5.1992 to the S.O. of P.S. Moosa Nagar stating that the petitioner's licence has been renewed for the year 1992 -93 and the police should extend co -operation with the petitioner. True copy of this letter is Annexure No. 3 to the writ petition. However, the petitioner has not been allowed to run the slaughter house and instead the Up -Nirdeshak, Pashu Palan Vibhag, Lucknow has issued a letter dated 16.3.93 directing the veterinary doctor not to issue certificate for slaughter in Form 'B'. Thereupon a writ petition being with No. nil of 1993 was filed in this court in which an interim order was passed which has been annexed as Annexure No. 4 to the writ petition. By this order, the District Magistrate have been permitted to authorise any person who in consultation with the veterinary surgeon shall issue certificate of slaughter of animals to the persons who have been permitted, but no certificate shall be issued for slaughter of cows or any other animal forbidden by law. Despite the order the petitioner has not been permitted to run the slaughter house, and in paragraph 17 of the writ petition it is stated that the respondents have not renewed the petitioner's licence and have not accepted the deposit of licence fee despite the petitioner's request. The petitioner made a representation on 30.3.1993 to the District Magistrate, Kanpur Dehat who is also officiating President of the Zila Parishad but nothing was done. A true copy of the said representation is Annexure No. 7 to the writ petition. In para 21 of the writ petition, it is alleged that the respondent No. 2 has renewed the licence of one Bade Lal for running the slaughter house at village Derapur, district Kanpur Dehat and has also renewed the licence of one Noor Bux for running the slaughter house at village Aniraudha. Thus, the petitioner has complained that he has been discriminated against. The petitioner has alleged in para 24 of the writ petition that no notice or opportunity of hearing was given to him before closing down his slaughter house. Aggrieved, the petitioner has filed this writ petition.
(2.)A counter affidavit has been filed and in paras 4 and 5 of the same it has been alleged the petitioner is disentitled for renewal as he has misused the slaughter house in violation of the bye -laws. A true copy of the relevant bye -laws is Annexure No. 1 to the counter affidavit. Annexure C.A. 2 is a copy of the report of the S.O. Moosa Nagar to the S.D.M., Kanpur Dehat in which it is alleged that there is a temple in the locality and hence there is a possibility of a law and order problem if the slaughter hose is permitted in the vicinity. Hence it was recommended that no licence should be granted to the petitioner for running the slaughter house.
(3.)AFTER careful consideration of the argument of the learned counsel for the parties we are of the opinion that this writ petition deserves to be allowed. In this connection reference may be made to a judgment delivered by one of us (Hon'ble M. Katju, J.) in second Appeal No. 2219 of 1985, Banarasi v. Abdul Ghani alias Rigai and others decided on 12.5.1992. In this decision it has been held as follows: - - In my opinion it is open to the defendants -respondents or any other persons to slaughter buffaloes or any other animals on any day they wish unless there is a law prohibiting the same. The slaughter of cows and bulls is prohibited under the U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act except as permitted by sections 3 and 4 thereof and hence it would be illegal to slaughter the animals in violation of the provisions of the said Act. There is also the Wildlife (Protection) Act against killing of wild animals. However, there is no law prohibiting slaughter of buffaloes. Hence it is open to any citizen of India to slaughter any kind of animals except where there is a law against the same. There may be a law made by the Municipality or Zila Parishad or other local body specifying the place of slaughter and making other regulations for sanitation, hygiene and health. There may also be a rule or regulation that the slaughter should not take place within a certain distance of any place of worship. This is a matter to be regulated by appropriate law, rules or bye -laws of the legislature or local body, and as long as these rules or regulations are not violative of the provisions of the Constitution (or the parent Act) they have to be complied with. However, apart from that there can be no restriction on slaughter of buffaloes or other animals. This is a free and democratic country and the time has come that the people of the country must give up backwardness and feudal thinking and must develop a mind with a scientific temper, as is also the mandate of Article 51 -A(h) of the Constitution which lays down the fundamental duty to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. Under Article 25 of the Constitution every person has a fundamental right to freely practice his religion, but this does not mean that one can force his religious views on others. If the plaintiff or others do not with to kill animals or eat them as they believe that non -violence is part of their religion they are free to do so. However, they cannot prevent others from killing and eating animals as long as there is no legal prohibition.
If the plaintiff does not wish to slaughter buffaloes he need not do so, but he cannot stop others from slaughtering buffaloes. In my opinion it is not only on the occasion of Bakrid but on other days also that a person belonging to any religion or any caste can slaughter buffaloes except where there is a law against it. In fact buffaloes are slaughtered by certain Hindus such as Gorkhas. So far as the question of health or hygiene are concerned there may be a law made by the Municipality or Zila Parishad or other local body and where ever there is such a law it must be strictly complied with. If the plaintiff or defendants wish they can move an application before the appropriate body/authority for fixing the place of slaughter and if such an application is moved it will be disposed of expeditiously in accordance with law. If there is already a fixed place for slaughter, buffaloes will be slaughtered at that place.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.