KL NEWS NETWORK
The lawyer behind the controversial High Court directive of banning the sale of beef in the state is none other than the government’s own law officer. Instead of defending state government’s position in the court of law, the officer, in complete disregard to the oath of office he has taken, has put the PDP-BJP coalition in an awkward situation, and the controversy generated by the court order can stoke communal flames in the sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Advocate Parimoksh Seth, who filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the court of law against the consumption of beef in the state, is holding the position of Deputy Advocate General in Jammu wing of the High Court. He was appointed by the department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in April this year.
In his pleas, advocate Seth had stated that in spite of the fact that penal provisions of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) make slaughtering or killing of bovine animals in J&K an offence punishable under section 298-A, and possession of slaughtered animal punishable under section 298-B of the RPC, the act is “rampant in the State with the active connivance of authorities”.
It was on this plea that a division bench of the J&K High Court comprising Justice Dheeraj Singh Thakur and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal passed the order with the direction to DGP to ensure that appropriate directions are issued to all SSPs/SPs/SHOs for enforcement of ban. “Strict action shall be taken in accordance with law against those who indulge in this activity,” the DB had ruled.
Under Section 298 (A) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), any violator is liable to imprisonment of ten years and a fine. Under RPC, possession of such slaughtered animal is also an act punishable under Section 298 (B) of the RPC. Its section 298 (B) says possessing the flesh of such an animal is a cognisable, non-bailable offence punishable with imprisonment of one year and a fine. The RPC was enacted in 1862 by the then Dogra Maharaja of the State.
Talking to KNS, Advocate Parimoksh Seth said that he was appointed as Deputy Advocate General in April this year and PIL for banning beef consumption in the state was filed by him in 2014. “Since then the case was never listed for hearing till earlier this week and it had skipped from my mind. I only came to know about it in the media reports,” he said, adding that he was withdrawing his name for the appeal. “I will withdraw my name from the PIL as I am holding a public office,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources said that the law ministry through Advocate General has conveyed to advocate Parimoksh Seth that he should withdraw not only his name from the petition.