Curbs on cattle sale a violation of human rights, says S. Selvagomathy who obtained stay on cattle slaughter ban

‘Curbs on cattle sale violate human rights, against Constitution’

Updated - December 03, 2021 05:06 pm IST

Published - May 31, 2017 12:36 am IST

S. Selvagomathy, Managing Trustee of Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Foundation for Social Legal Education and Development, a non-governmental organisation based in Madurai, took centre stage on Tuesday by filing a public interest litigation petition in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court and obtaining an interim stay on the statutory rules framed by the Centre banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. The Hindu caught up with the 45-year-old lawyer-cum-activist for an interview after the order was passed. Excerpts.


What prompted to you to file the case?

I have been involved in social activities for the last 20 years. My work has revolved mostly around upholding of human rights. When the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulations of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 were notified by the Centre on May 23, the first thing that struck my mind was that they were in violation of not only the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution but also the basic human rights. That is the reason I decided to file a suit challenging the rules.

How do you say that the rules violate human rights? Can you elaborate?

I see the rules as a violation of the rights of the Dalits and the minority communities who are used to consuming meat. They also violate the rights of others who prefer to eat non-vegetarian food and those who sacrifice animals as part of religious practices. Imposing a curb on such practices is nothing but violation of human rights.

Do you consider this interim order a success?

I see it as a big victory against the unrest created across the nation due to the ban on sale of animals for slaughter. This order will prevent conflict between people who are involved in such a trade and those who are bent upon preventing it. Officials have already begun to implement the rules in many parts of the country by preventing the traders from selling cattle in the market. This order will put a full stop to such practices.

How have you planned to take this case forward?

I shall fight the case till its logical end. It will be better if the Central government itself comes forward to repeal the rules. Otherwise, my lawyers would pursue the case with all earnestness and see to it that the rules are declared null and void.

What is your answer to critics who ask you whether killing of animals is an acceptable practice?

You may not believe if I say that I am a pure vegetarian by choice. I do not even consume eggs but my philosophy is that the choice of food should be left to the individuals and not forced upon them. If forcing a vegetarian like me to eat meat amounts to perpetrating violence against me, then forcing the non-vegetarians to become vegetarians also should be considered as perpetrating violence against them. Every human being has a right to follow his/her religious and cultural practices.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.