Plea Challenging Centre's Cattle Trade Rule Reaches Supreme Court

The plea challenging cattle trade rule in Supreme Court says it violates people's fundamental right to eat what they want

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Plea Challenging Centre's Cattle Trade Rule Reaches Supreme Court

Under the Centre's new cattle trade rule, slaughter of cattle sold in animal markets is banned.

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea challenging the Centre's new cattle trade rules that ban the buying and selling of cattle in animal markets for slaughter. Echoing criticisms from a section, the petition said the rule violates two fundamental rights -- that food is a matter of personal choice, and that of religious freedom, especially where animal sacrifice is part of rituals.The court will hear the case on June 15.

The petition comes weeks after the Madras High Court suspended the Central rule for a month in response to a plea that said it violated the fundamental right of a person to eat what he wants. Putting the rule on freeze for a month, the court asked the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government to respond to the matter.   

The cattle trade rule has triggered protests across various states in the south and the northeast, where beef is a staple.

The Chief Ministers of Bengal, Kerala and Goa have said the rule will interfere hugely with people's food preferences. Since the rule came into effect earlier this month, hundreds of 'beef parties' have been held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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In the backdrop of the huge debate, Union minister and senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu yesterday agreed that food is a matter of choice and that he himself is a non-vegetarian. "Some mad people keep on saying such things (BJP wanting to make everybody vegetarian). It is people's choice to eat whatever they want or don't want," Mr Naidu was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.

The Centre has said the intention of the rule was not to interfere with food preferences. It was framed to address the larger issue of cruelty to animals.

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