The contentious cow slaughter bill was passed by the Karnataka Assembly on Wednesday, December 9. The bill, known as Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill-2020' seeks a complete ban on the slaughter of cows in the state and proposes strict punishments to those accused of smuggling, illegal transportation, atrocities on cows and slaughtering them.
"Yes, the bill has been passed in the Assembly," Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said. The minister said that the bill also protects buffaloes and their calves below the age of 13 years.
Section 1 (2) of the Bill reads, "'Cattle' means cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock and he or she buffalo below the age of thirteen years."
"Illegal selling, transportation or culling of cows (has been) made punishable. If a cow has contracted a disease which can spread to other cattle, then it can be culled/slaughtered," the minister said.
Cattle slaughter will now be punished with jail term of three to five years in the state and the fine on a violator can range from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
Provisions of the bill constitute setting up of special courts for speedy trial of the accused, setting up goshala or cattle shelters for the livestock, giving more power to local police for carrying out random checks.
As per the law, police officer above the rank of sub-inspector, if he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been committed, can inspect any premises and conduct a search.
The bill was cleared as the opposition staged a walkout in protest.
"We had discussed yesterday that new bills will not be tabled. We had agreed that only the ordinances will be passed. Now he (Prabhu Chavan) has all-of-a-sudden introduced this anti-cow slaughter bill," Former Karnataka CM and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said.
Karnataka already had an anti-cattle slaughter bill – Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964. The provisions of the old bill were restricted to the slaughter of cows, calves and she-buffaloes. The maximum punishment for violating the provisions of the 1964 Act was six months imprisonment and a Rs 1,000 fine.