Right to eat beef can't be a fundamental right: HC

Right to eat beef can never be considered a fundamental right: Allahabad HC

Babur, Humayun and Akbar prohibited the sacrifice of cows in their religious festivals, the court said

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Allahabad high court has said that eating beef can't be a "fundamental right" and that the cow should be declared a "national animal", amid alleged incidents of lynching of cattle traders in different parts of the country.

A single judge bench headed by Justice Shekhar Yadav made the observations on Wednesday while declining bail to a Muslim man, who was accused of slaughtering a cow in Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh in February this year.

"Fundamental right is not a special right for beef eaters. Those who worship the cows and are dependent on them also have a right to life. Eating beef can never be a fundamental right. The right to life cannot be snatched just because someone finds something tasty," the court said.

The HC further noted that it is not only Hindus who have understood the importance of cows, Muslim rulers also considered it as an important part of India's culture during their reign.

For example, Babur, Humayun and Akbar prohibited the sacrifice of cows in their religious festivals, the court said.

The ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali, made cow slaughter a punishable offence, the HC added.

The court said that the government should enact a law by bringing a Bill in the Parliament declaring the cow a 'national animal' making its rearing a fundamental right. "The government should enact strict laws against those who harm the cows and also against those who, though talk about sheltering and protecting the cows but in effect only want to make money on this pretext," it added.

The court said that protection of the cows was not connected to any specific religion. "Cow is the symbol of our culture and to protect and conserve the culture is the responsibility of every citizen, irrespective of his religion," it went on to say.

The court also referred to the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan. "There are hundreds of examples that the foreigners made us slaves whenever we ignored our culture. We should not forget about the Taliban and its victory in Afghanistan," it remarked.

The court referred to the vedas and other ancient Hindu epics, texts in other religions, including Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikkhism and Christianity, and said that killing of the cows had been barred in all of them.

"Freedom fighter Mangal Pandey had rebelled when he came to know that cow fat was used in the pin of the grenades," it observed. The court also said that several members of the Constituent Assembly had favoured including cow protection in the list of fundamental rights.

With PTI inputs

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