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SC stays order on sale of beef in J&K for two months

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the state High Court’s order enforcing ban on sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir for two months.

Supreme Court also directed the Chief Justice of the J&K High Court to constitute a three judge bench to resolve the beef ban issue at the earliest.

The apex court had on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea by Jammu and Kashmir government against two “conflicting” orders of the High Court pertaining to the slaughter of bovine animals and enforcement of a ban on beef sale in the state, claiming these were being “misused” to disturb peace.

While the Jammu bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had ordered enforcement of the bar on the sale of beef in the state, the Srinagar bench issued a notice to the state on a plea seeking scrapping of the law to bar slaughter of bovine animals.

Highlighting the inconsistency in the orders, senior advocate Amarendra Sharan, appearing for the state government, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu and sought an urgent hearing.

The apex court then listed the matter for hearing on Monday.

The High Court’s Jammu bench had on September 8 directed the police to enforce the provision under the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) barring sale of beef in the state.

A week later, the HC’s Srinagar bench issued notice to the state on a PIL which sought striking down of the provision of RPC banning slaughter of bovine animals.

In its special leave petition moved before the apex court, the state said, “the HC’s two conflicting orders have grave ramifications for the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir as the orders are being misused and interpreted in a manner so as to disturb peace in the state.”

“The apex court should ensure that there is uniformity and consistency in the judicial pronouncements and that there is no scope to exploit the present situation by disrupting communal harmony, amity and peace in the state and thereby alienating people of the state from national mainstream,” it said.

With PTI inputs