On 31st March 2017, Gujarat State Assembly passed Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that amends the existing Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954. This amendment bill was passed unopposed as the opposition party members were not present. The Speaker had suspended Congress party member for obstructing the proceedings of the house.
- This amendment bill is aimed at adopting stringent measure for stopping illegal slaughter of animals protected by the law.
About Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954:
Dating back to 1954, this law was enacted by Gujarat state govt. with a view to protect animals and cattle used for dairy and agricultural activities. To facilitate better implementation, this act was first amended in year 2011, when PM Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Key provisions of Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017:
- Firstly, all offences under this act have been termed as cognizable and non-bailable.
- Punishment for person found guilty of cow slaughter: Minimum 10 years, Maximum: Life Imprisonment.
- Minimum jail term for illegal transportation of cows for slaughter has been raised – 7 to 10 years against the existing provision of 3 to 7 years. Monetary penalty for the same has also been raised from current Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
- Vehicle used for illegal transportation will be permanently forfeited by the Govt. Earlier the vehicles were given back after a period of six months.
- Earlier 25 officials were notified for issuance of permit. Post this amendment bill only 7 officials are notified.
- The act does not allow for transportation of animals from 7 pm in the evening to 5.00 am in the morning.
- A month ago, when the amendment Bill was introduced, maximum punishment for cow slaughter was fixed at 10 year imprisonment. Later the Govt. extended it to life imprisonment.
- In context of this Bill, Gujarat CM Mr. Vijay Rupani has mentioned that Gujarat is a state which follows tenets of Non-Violence and Truth as preached by Mahatma Gandhi.
This amendment bill has been applauded by the saints and organisation related with protection of cows in Gujarat.
Quick Facts about Gujarat:
- Formation Year: 1960
- Capital City: Gandhinagar
- Current Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
- Ruling Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
- Current Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
- Neighbouring Indian States: Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra