For Now, ‘There is No Beef Ban in J&K’

Riyaz Ul Khaliq



Right now, there is no ban on consumption of bovine meat in state of Jammu and Kashmir.

This comes after Supreme Court (SC) suspended for two months an order by Jammu wing J&K High Court for enforcing a legal bar on the sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir while asking the Chief Justice of J&K High Court to set up a three-judge bench to decide on two conflicting orders on the issue.

A controversy erupted after the Court ordered implementation of autocratic Dogra beef ban law last month in state. The beef ban issue is this time dominating the state legislature which is in its Autumn session. There has been pandemonium in both the houses over the issue on day second today, as well. The beef ban stand ‘cancelled’ for a period of two months, according to the SC prder.

Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) which is in vogue in J&K bans the slaughter of bovine animals in state. Anyone found violating the law may face an imprisonment of a decade, at least. The particular sections of the RPC: 298, 298 A, 298 B, 298 C, and 298 D were conceived by Dogras in 1932 and were incorporated, subsequently, in penal code post partition.

Speaking to Kashmir Life, Academician and legal expert Prof Afzal Qadri, said, “the direction which Supreme Court has two dimensions: the order has stayed the earlier order of Jammu wing of High Court which means that the government can’t enforce the beef ban in state now and second it means that the beef ban law has been put in abeyance.”

Prof Afzal Qadri has petitioned HC listing a series of reasons as how beef ban is a burden on him as a citizen and a Muslim. The PIL came after a Jammu wing of HC ordered implementation of beef ban in state.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu today stayed put the September 8 order of the Jammu bench of the High Court, by which it had ordered enforcement of bar on sale of beef in the state in pursuance of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) provisions.

Qadri said, “the SC direction has made the J&K state’s beef ban law void for two months which means that there is no ban on slaughter and consumption of bovine animals now.” “So, there will be no restriction on transport and slaughter of the bovine animals now.”

Supreme Court’s today’s direction, apparently, comes as a breather for the PDP led state government which is under fire in state legislature this time.

The HC direction witnessed Kashmir valley remaining shut for a complete day in protest while government denied access to internet on Eid-al-Azha for over three days fearing that beef sacrifice videos might be shared online and might trigger crisis.

As the Jammu HC wing ordered implementation of the beef ban law, a Srinagar bench of the J&K High Court said, “the beef ban implementation order should not come in way of legislation over the issue. The matter shall not be considered sub-judice and any decision may be taken, if any.”


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