The Gujarat Assembly on Friday amended the cow protection law announcing a life term on those found guilty of slaughtering cows. The state assembly passed the amendment to the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act of 1954 providing for a maximum punishment of up to life imprisonments and a fine of up to Rs five lakh.
With this Act, cow slaughter has become a non-bailable offence in the state. The Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by a majority in the absence of opposition members. The amendment Bill was passed on the last day of the budget session of the House. Not just for slaughter, there are stringent provisions for punishing those who are found involved in transportation and sale of beef or beef products.
According to the new law, even if someone had a permit they would not be allowed to carry any meat at night. The minimum jail term has been raised from 7 to 10 years as against the current status of 3 to 7 years. The monetary penalty has also been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
Gujarat government had made certain amendments in 2011 for better implementation of the Act but it was felt that even further steps were needed for to curb illegal slaughter of animals. Minister of state (MOS) Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said that the law needs to be revised for effectively checking the use of vehicles for transporting animals to slaughter.
With this decision, Gujarat has become the first state in the country to make have made cow slaughter punishable. Several other states including Uttar Pradesh have tightened norms against cow slaughter since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.