Beef Ban: ‘Supreme Court Can’t Restrain Speaker from Tabling Bill’

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

National Conference Sunday announced to oppose tooth and nail any move of the PDP-BJP coalition government to handover the beef ban bill to a joint select committee of the State legislature.

Senior National Conference leader and former Speaker Assembly Mohammad Akbar Lone said, “Supreme court can’t restrain Jammu & Kashmir Assembly for taking up any bill for discussion which has been already listed in the calendar of the assembly’s autumn session.”

Reacting to the reports that PDP-BJP Coalition government has decided to handover the beef ban bill to a select committee of the state legislature, the senior National Conference leader and former Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone told KNS. “If the reports about the government decision to handover the beef ban bill to a select committee of the state legislature then it is very clear that Speaker Assembly has to allow the opposition to table the bill the house for discussion. As per rules the bill can be handed over to the select committee of the legislature only after it is tabled before the assembly and discussed by the house.”

He said, “let me make it clear that National Conference will tooth and nail oppose the government on handing over the bill to a joint select committee of the state legislature and seek support from even national level political parties like Congress. Such a decision of the Government would be part of an ill designed conspiracy of ruling PDP-BJP combine to delay the process of scrapping beef ban law. Any such decision will expose the tall claims of PDP on protection of the religious rights of the Muslim majority community in the only Muslim majority state of the Country.”

Interestingly, the authoritative sources in PDP and BJP disclosed that they have by mutual consensus decided to hand over the beef ban bill to a select committee of the state legislature. A top informed source in PDP said, “we have in mutual consensus with our ally the BJP decided to hand over the bill to a joint select committee of the state legislature. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has already told PDP and BJP legislators to restrain from issuing public statements on sensitive issues in recent joint meeting of the legislators of PDP-BJP coalition. ”

Reacting to the reports about the government having designs to hand over the bill to a select committee of the state legislature Jammu & Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee President GA Mir said, “we won’t react to the unofficial remarks of the government. Once the government announces its decision on the floor of the assembly the Congress legislator will then and there announce the party decision. We will announce a formal decision on October day a day before the beef ban bill is listed for introduction in the assembly”

Alleging that ban on bovine slaughter was a deliberate attempt to divide people of Jammu and Kashmir, CPI (m) senior leader M Y Tarigami Sunday cautioned that there would be serious consequences, if debate on beef ban issue is not allowed in the on-going autumn session of the Legislative Assembly.

While addressing a press conference here at his Gupkar residence, Tarigami said that neither speaker of the Assembly nor chief minister of the state could afford to undermine the sanctity of the house.

“If speaker Assembly does not allow debate or discussion on the beef ban issue related bills, it will have serious consequences. We have witnessed in the past as history itself remains witness to it, that whenever democratic process was undermined in the state there have been serious consequences,” Tarigami said.

Tarigami said that if bills were not allowed to discuss, that would be an attempt to disrespect the power of the legislation. “It will not be only disrespect to the legislation but as an attempt to weaken the people of Kashmir,” he said.

Pertinently, seeking decriminalising bovine slaughter in the state, opposition National Conference, MLA Langate Engineer Abdul Rashid and CPI (m) senior leader M Y Tarigami have submitted bills in the Assembly to discuss beef ban issue in the on-going autumn session.

“The beef ban issue is very important issue and must be discussed in the legislation. This is a deliberate attempt by some elements trying to divide the society. We all should respect each other’s religious sentiments to foil such nefarious designs,” he said.

He said that the speaker Assembly was implementing orders of the government in the house and was working as its (government’s) spokesperson. “Speaker must protect the sanctity of the house and act as custodian of the house not as government’s spokesperson,” Tarigami said.

He said that he respects the judiciary as the matter was sub- judice. “I respect court orders and legislation has no authority to violate judiciary and similarly I think judiciary too will not encroach power of the legislation. Court does not bar the Assembly to discuss the bills submitted already,” he said.

Stating that no power can thrust upon dietry habits on any society he said, “We have been following a tradition which has always respect religious sentiments of all communities living in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Meanwhile, he termed the observations of the speaker on beef ban related bills as “regrettable” and said, “It was not expected from the Speaker to disrespect his constitutional mandate of neutrality and virtually act as spokesperson of the government. Remarks of the Speaker indicate that the government has shelved the much needed debate on the bills related to beef ban.”

He added speaker must appreciate the importance of bills on the subject given the sensitivities involved therein and use the authority vested in him so that these important bills are not shelved for the narrow political interests.

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