The three judge bench comprising Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar, Ali Muhammad Magrey and Tashi Rabstan Friday disposed off two diametrically opposite petitions, one seeking implementation of the provisions of Section 298-A, 298-B, and 298-C of Ranbir Penal Code, Svt 1989 (1932) and other seeking scrapping of these provisions and declare them illegal and unconstitutional.
The court also vacated orders passed from time to time in these petitions, including Jammu court order dated September 8, 2015 seeking implementation of the provisions of the RPC against the bovine slaughter.
The corum constituted on the Supreme Court orders to decide on two separate directions by two benches of the J&K High Court while restoring the status quo ante passed direction to the state government to take appropriate action while stating “The state of Jammu and Kashmir through Chief Secretary to consider the issues raised in these petitions in the light of observations made in this order and take appropriate steps in accordance with law.”
The court in its order has mentioned that the petitioner after filing of report by divisional commissioner Jammu dated February 13, 2015 that few cases were registered for illegal transportation of bovine animals, few hard core offenders are facing trail and few cases, after investigation have been closed as “not admitted”, the petitioner seeking implementation of ban was given time to file his response. “Despite many opportunities, he did not file any response, which means that he has nothing further to plead, and is satisfied with the functioning of state authorities.
The bench while talking about the sensitivities of the matter has said, “a religion is a prescription which guarantees peace and order in the society. Religion delineates path of peace, truth, piousness and righteousness.” It further says that “respect shown to the religious sentiments of each other in a pluralistic society like ours is hallmark of our ancient history.”
The court passed direction that “the executive wing of state has to apply its mind, frame a policy and cull out a solution which satisfies the soul of constitution.”
The order further says that, “the decision should be taken within the framework of Constitution, and ensure that no inter-religious conflict takes place amongst the people of the state.”