A Delhi court has been asked to decide whether a ban on cow slaughter is justified in the face of mounting protests against it by the Hindu community.
In its order, the Delhi high court has asked the state government to provide details of a draft law to ban slaughter of cattle and other animals for human consumption in the city.
The state government had argued that the ban would “ensure law and order” and ensure “sustainability of the city”.
In its judgement on February 18, the high court had asked the government to submit a draft ordinance that “will provide for the regulation and control of the slaughter of cows and other carnivorous animals, including bullocks and bovines, and ensure that such animals are not slaughtered in public places”.
The court also asked the Delhi government to come up with a legal basis for imposing the ban.
The ruling comes after a similar ruling by a lower court in September that declared the city’s cow slaughter ban unconstitutional.
The Delhi government had asked a bench of the high and three lower courts to declare the ban unconstitutional in a separate order on October 12, and it had also sought an extension of time to submit its draft ordinance to the state assembly.
The high court order came after the Delhi police had taken to the streets on February 19 to protest against the cow slaughter bans, while the Delhi chief minister had called for a national debate on cow protection.
In September, the city had enacted a ban, which was extended by the same day, and on February 12, a petition was filed before the Delhi High Court asking the court to declare it unconstitutional.
The court had then asked the Centre to review the ban and issue an order.
The court had also directed the state to provide a clear statement regarding the issue.
The government had sought the court’s intervention and said it was not possible to enforce the ban in Delhi.
The state government said it would seek a court order for its draft law, and said that it was prepared to implement the ban “in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance” and to ensure “law and order”.
The Delhi cow slaughtering ban was passed in January after a two-month hearing.
In March, a special court in the southern state of Punjab passed a similar ban on the killing of cows.