Karnataka govt. promulgates Ordinance banning cow slaughter

Karnataka’s Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020 became law on Tuesday after Governor Vajubhai Vala gave assent to it. The ‘anti-cow slaughter’ law provides for punishment for the killing of cattle and offers protection to those “acting in good faith” to save them.

The bill was passed by the Karnataka government in the state Assembly on December 9, 2020 and the state govt promulgated the ordinance earlier today. The Karnataka govt had to go for the ordinance route as the bill had not been approved by the Legislative Council yet. The Council was adjourned sine die even before the bill was tabled there for passage. For a bill to become law, its passage in the Council, followed by assent by the Governor is necessary.

Under the Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Law, 2020, the slaughter of cattle will lead to imprisonment of up to 3 to 7 years and a fine ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh, and subsequent offences will attract imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. According to it, cattle is defined as a cow, calf of a cow, bull and bullock of all ages and he or she buffalo below the age of thirteen years, while beef has been defined as the flesh of the cattle in any form. Offering protection for “persons acting in good faith” under the law and its rules, it said, no suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings can be instituted against the competent authority or any person exercising powers under this ordinance.