Suspending the ban on animal slaughter and sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir for two months, the Supreme Court Monday asked the Chief Justice of J&K High Court to set up a three-judge bench to examine the legal issues relating to the prohibition and the validity of the law in this regard. A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Amitava Roy said that in view of the “conflicting” orders by the two high court benches, the chief justice shall constitute a larger bench to examine all contentions. It asked the high court chief justice to set up the bench at Srinagar and place before it both the matters in which two “conflicting” orders were passed in September.
While the Jammu bench of the HC had ordered enforcement of the ban on sale of beef in the state, the Srinagar bench entertained a PIL against the ban and sought explanations from the state government on the validity of the legal provisions entailing this prohibition. “This type of matter requires a larger bench. We request the chief justice to constitute such a bench to take a decision on the two petitions,” said the bench, as it also stayed the order imposing the ban. In its petition, the state had contended that the two conflicting orders have grave ramifications for the law and order since the orders were being misused so as to disturb peace in the state.