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The Supreme Court will hear on Thursday a plea challenging the Central government notification prohibiting sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter on the grounds that it violates the right to free trade.
Petitioner Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, who moved the top court on June 7, has also challenged the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 which provides for the seizures, recovery of the cost of transportation, maintenance and treatment of seized animals.
The vacation bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Deepak Gupta had on June 7 directed the listing of the matter on June 15 after counsel Sanobar Ali Qureshi, appearing for the Hyderabad-based petitioner had mentioned the matter urging for an early hearing.
Faheem Qureshi, himself a lawyer, has contended that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017, which bans sale of cattle for slaughter and other Rules Arestricts cattle trade respectively are arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional.
He has contended that the rules violated his constitutional rights to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation, protection of life and personal liberty, freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion and protection of interests of minorities.
The petitioner has challenged different stipulations of two notifications that came on May 23.
He has contended that the rule that the purchaser "shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose" was contrary to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, whose Section 28 says it is not an offence to "kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community".
Faheem Qureshi, who also heads the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, has also questioned the stipulation that prohibits bringing young cattle to animal market, unless the purchaser furnishes an undertaking saying he is an agriculturist, that the animal would be used for agricultural purposes, and not resold for six months.
Qureshi has also objected to the provision of the notification requiring the owner to submit a bond to pay for the transportation, maintenance and treatment of the cattle.