The State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. The
Gwalior Sugar Co., Ltd., & Ors  INSC 253 (30 November 1960)
Cess-Levy on sugar cane ordered by erstwhile
Ruler-Constitutional validity-Constitution of India, Arts. 14, 265, 373.
In order to put the sugar industry on a
stable footing, for which it was necessary to develop the cane area, the Ruler
of the erstwhile Gwalior State by an order dated 27-7-1946 sanctioned the levy
of cess of one anna per maund on all sugar cane purchased by the respondent
company. When the Government of Madhya Bharat, which was the successor state of
the former Gwalior State, made a demand for payment of the cess, the respondent
filed a petition before the High Court of Madhya ,Bharat challenging the
legality of the levy on the grounds (1) that the order dated 27-7-1946 was only
an executive order and not a law under Art. 265 of the Constitution of India
and that, therefore, there was no authority for the imposition of the cess
after January 26, 1950, and (2) that the levy was discriminatory and violated
Art. 14 inasmuch as while the respondent was made liable to pay the cess the
other sugar factories in the State were exempt. It was found that at the time
when cess was first levied there was no sugar factory in existence in the Gwalior State other than that of the respondent.
Held, that (i) the Ruler of an Indian State was an absolute monarch in which there was no constitutional limitation to act
in any manner he liked, he being the supreme legislature, the supreme judiciary
and the supreme head of the executive. I Consequently, the order dated 27-7-1946 issued by the Ruler of Gwalior State amounted to a law enacted by him and became
an existing law under Art. 372 of the Constitution of India. The levy of cess was therefore by authority of law within the meaning of Art. 265;
Madhaorao Phalke v. The State of Madhya
Bharat,  1 S.C.R. 957, followed.
(2) the levy of cess did not contravene Art.
14 because (a) the object was cane development in the particular area and a
geographical classification based upon historical factors was a permissible
mode of classification, and (b) a tax could not be struck down as
discriminatory unless it was found that it was imposed with a deliberate
intention of differentiating between 620 (ii) where the order is passed by the
Sub-divisional Animal Husbandry Officer, under sub-rule (5), to the District
Animal Husbandry Officer and (iii) where the order is passed by the authority
prescribed under sub-rule (1) to the Sub-divisional Animal Husbandry Officer,
if there is one; if not, to the District Animal Husbandry Officer;
(b) The appeal shall not be decided against
the appellant unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being
heard." The argument on behalf of the petitioners is that they are
"Kassais" by profession and they earn their living by slaughtering
cattle only (not goats or sheep which are slaughtered by "Chiks");
that they have the fundamental right to carry on their profession and trade; and
that s. 3 of the Act read with r. 3 imposes unreasonable
restrictions--restrictions not in the interests of the general public-on their
fundamental right and therefore they are not saved by cl. (6) of Art. 19 of the
Some of these arguments were considered by this
Court in Md.
Hanif Quareshi v. The State of Bihar (1) and
it was pointed out that the test of reasonableness should be applied to each
individual statute impugned and no abstract standard, or general pattern, of
reasonableness can be laid down as applicable to all cases. It referred to the
decision in State of Madras v. V. G. Row (2) and repeated what was said therein
that "the nature of the right alleged to have been infringed, the
underlying purpose of the restrictions imposed, the extent and urgency of the
evil sought to be remedied thereby, the disproportion of the imposition, the
prevailing conditions at the time, should all enter into the judicial
verdict." 'Another consideration which has to be kept in mind is that
"the legislature is the best judge of what is good for the community,. by
whose suffrage it comes into existence...................... (See The State of
Bihar v. Maharajadhiraja Sir Kameshwar Singh of Darbhanga (3)).
But the ultimate responsibility for
determining the validity of the law must rest with the (1)  S.C.R. 629.
(2)  S.C.R. 597.
(3)  S.C.R. 889.
621 Court and the Court must not shirk that
solemn duty cast on it by the Constitution. We must, therefore, approach the
problem before us in the light of the principles laid down by this Court.
The most pertinent question is-having regard
to all the relevant circumstances, is the age of 25 years laid down in s. 3 a
reasonable restriction on the right of the petitioners in the interests of the
general public ? We are unable to say that it is. Apart from the affidavits
made on behalf of the petitioners and the respondent State, a large volume of
authoritative and expert opinion has been placed before us which shows beyond
any doubt that a bull, bullock or she-buffalo does not remain useful after 14
or 15 years and only a few of them live up to the age of 25. In the Report of
the Cattle Preservation and Development Committee, published by the Ministry of
Agriculture, it is recommended by the Committee that the slaughter of animals
over 14 years of age and unfit for work as also animals of any age permanently
unable to work owing to injury or deformity, should be allowed. In the Report
on the Marketing of Meat in India (published by the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture) there is a reference to a draft Bill circulated by the Ministry of
Agriculture (page 112 of the Report) which contains a clause that animals over
14 years of age and unfit for work may be slaughtered on a certificate from a
Veterinary Officer. In the Report on the Marketing of Cattle in India, again
published by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, occurs the following passage
as to the price of animals with reference to their age:
"Young draught animals up to the age of
4 years-being raw and untrained-fetch comparatively low prices. Between 4 and 8
years of age, the animals are in the prime of their youth and tender best
service, and fetch maximum prices. From the 8th year onwards old age sets in,
and a graded decline is observed in their capacity to work and consequently
prices depreciate considerably." .
In a Food and Agricultural Organisation study
of cattle in India and Pakistan (Zebu Cattle of India and 79 622 Pakistan, page
94) it is stated that the active breeding life of a bull is estimated to be about
10 years. In Black's Veterinary Dictionary (edited by W. C. Miller and G.
P. West, fifth edition) it is stated that
pedigree ,bulls may reach 12 or 14 years of age before being discarded; and
cattle seldom live longer than 15 or 16 years, and when they do, their age is
usually of no immediate importance. In another publication of the Ministry of
Agriculture called 'Problems of Cattle Insurance' under Indian conditions, it
is stated that the life of cattle is comparatively much shorter, the maximum age
being only about 15 years. There is an interesting chart relating to the
determination of age in cattle in a publication called 'Cattle Development in
Uttar Pradesh' by R. L. Kaura, Director of Animal Husbandry;
that chart shows that at II years incisors
appear smaller due to wearing out; at 12 years space appears between the teeth,
and after 12 teeth wear out constantly and roots remain far apart from one
another. As against all this expert opinion the respondent State has relied on
the chart embodying some useful data about domestic animals, prepared by Major
A. C. Aggarwala, Director of Veterinary Services, Punjab, and R. R. Gulati,
Superintendent, Veterinary Department, Jullandur, which shows the sterility age
of a buffalo at 15 and average age at 25, and of a cow sterility at 15 and 16
years and average life 22 years.
We are clearly of the view that the almost
unanimous opinion of experts is that after the age of 15, bulls. bullocks and
buffaloes are no longer useful for breeding, draught and other purposes and
whatever little use they may have then is greatly offset by the economic
disadvantages of feeding and maintaining unserviceable cattle-disadvantages to
which we had referred in much greater detail in Md. Hanif Quareshi's case (1).
Section 3 of the Bihar Act in so far as it has increased the age limit to 25 in
respect of bulls, bullocks and she-buffaloes, imposes an unreasonable
restriction on the fundamental right of the petitioners, a restriction moreover
which cannot be said to be in (1)  S.C.R. 629.
623 the interests of the general public, and
to that extent it is void. We may here repeat what we said in Chintaman Rao v.
The State of Madhya Pradesh (1):
"The phrase 'reasonable restriction'
connotes that the limitation imposed on a person in enjoyment of the right
should not be arbitrary or of an excessive nature, beyond what is required in
the interests of the public. The word 'reasonable' implies intelligent care and
deliberation, that is, the choice of a course which reason dictates.
Legislation which arbitrarily or excessively
invades the right cannot be said to contain the quality of reasonableness and
unless it strikes a proper balance between the freedom guaranteed in Art.
19(1)(g) and the social control permitted by clause (6) of Art. 19, it must be
held to be wanting in that quality." As to r. 3 the grievances of the
petitioners are these.
Under the rule the prescribed authority for
the purpose of s. 3 of the Act consists of the Veterinary Officer and the
Chairman or Chief Officer of a District Board, Municipality etc. Unless both of
them concur, no certificate for slaughter can be granted. It is pointed out
that the Chairman or Chief Officer would be a layman not in a position to judge
the age or usefulness of cattle. The result would be that the animal in respect
of which a certificate is required may have to be shown to the Veterinary
Officer as also the Chairman or Chief Officer, who may not be staying at the
same place as the Veterinary Officer. If the two differ, the matter has to be
referred to the Sub-divisional Animal Husbandry Officer. This procedure, it is
contended, will involve the expenditure of so much money and time that it will
not be worthwhile for the petitioners to ask for a certificate, or having got a
certificate, to slaughter the animal. An animal which is above 15 or which has
become useless generally costs much less than a young, serviceable animal. If
the petitioners have to incur all the expenditure which the procedure laid down
by r. 3 must necessarily cost them, then they must close down their trade. As
to the right of appeal from an order refusing to grant a (1)  S.C.R.
624 certificate, it is contended that that
right is also illusory for all practical purposes. To take the animal to the
Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry or the District Animal Husbandry Officer or
the Sub-divi sional Animal Husbandry Officer, as the case may be, and to keep
and feed the animal for the period of the appeal and its hearing will cost more
than the price of the animal itself.
We consider that these grievances of the
petitioners have substance, and judged from the practical point of view, the
provisions of r. 3 impose disproportionate restrictions on their right. It is
difficult to understand why the Veterinary Officer, who has the necessary
technical knowledge, cannot be trusted to give the certificate and why it
should be necessary to resort to a complicated procedure to resolve a possible
difference of opinion between two officers, later followed by a still more
We, therefore, hold r. 3 also to be bad in so
far as it imposes disproportionate restrictions indicated above, on the right
of the petitioners.
(2) We now proceed to consider the Uttar
Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter (Amendment) Act, 1958. After the decision
of this Court in Md. Hanif Quareshi v. The State of Bihar (1) an Ordinance was
passed called the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter (Amendment)
This Ordinance was later repealed and
replaced by the Act.
The petitioners say that in the Bill as
originally drafted the age limit below which slaughter was not permissible was
put at 15 years; but the Select Committee increased it to 20 years. It will
probably be best, for clearness sake, to set forth not the whole provisions of
the Act, for that would be too lengthy, but those which form most directly the
subject matter on which the controversy turns. Section 3 of the Act reads
(omitting portions not relevant for our purpose)"S. 3(1) Except as
hereinafter provided, no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered or
offer or cause to be offered for slaughter(a)..........................................
(1)  S.C.R. 629.
625 (b) a bull or bullock, unless he has
obtained in respect thereof a certificate in writing, from the competent
authority of the area in which the bull or bullock is to be slaughtered,
certifying that it is fit for slaughter...
(2) No bull or bullock, in respect of which a
certificate has been issued under sub-section (1)(b) shall be' slaughtered at
any place other than the place indicated in the certificate or within twenty
days of the date of issue of the certificate.
(3) A certificate under sub-section (1)(b)
shall be issued by the competent authority, only after it has, for reasons to
be recorded in writing, certified that(a) the bull or bullock is over the age
of twenty years; and (b) in the case of a bull, it has become permanently unfit
and unserviceable for the purpose of breeding and, in the case of a bullock, it
has become permanently unfit and unserviceable for the purposes of draught and
any kind of agricultural operation:
Provided that the permanent unfitness or
unserviceability has not been caused deliberately.
(4) The competent authority shall, before
issuing the certificate under sub-section (3) or refusing to issue the same,
record its order in writing. Any person aggrieved by the order of the competent
authority, under this section, may, within twenty days of the date of the
order, appeal against it to the State Government, which may pass such orders
thereon as it may deem fit.
(5) The State Government may, at any time,
for the purposes of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of the
action taken under this section, call for and examine the record of any case
and may pass such orders thereon as it may deem fit.
(6) Subject to the provisions herein
contained any action taken under this section, shall be final and conclusive
and shall not be called in question." On behalf of the petitioners it has
been argued that s. 3 imposes a number of unreasonable restrictions. Firstly,
it is urged that the age-limit with regard to bulls or bullocks is put too
high, viz. at 20 years. This is an 626 aspect which we have already considered in
relation to the Bihar Act. What we have said about the age s limit in that
connexion applies equally to the Uttar Pradesh Act. The 8th Live-stock Census,
1956 shows that in Uttar Pradesh bulls and bullocks over 3 years of age, not in
use for breeding or work, numbered as many as 126,201 in 1956 as compared to
162,746 in 1951. The Municipal Manual, Uttar Pradesh, Vol.
1, contains a direction that for slaughter of
animals, bullocks and male buffaloes in good state of health below ten years of
age should be included. Secondly, it is pointed out that not being content with
fixing an unreasonably high age-limit, the impugned provision imposes a double
restriction. It says that the animal must be over twenty years in age and must
also be permanently unfit and unserviceable; and in the case of a bullock, the
unfitness must be for "any kind of agricultural operation" and not
merely for draught purposes. The result of this double restriction, it is
stated, is that even if the animal is permanently unserviceable and unfit at an
earlier age, it cannot be slaughtered unless it is over twenty years in age.
Before a certificate can be given, the animal
must fulfil two conditions as to (1) age and (2) permanent unfitness.
We consider this to be a demonstrably
unreasonable restriction. In Md. Hanif Quareshi's case (1) this Court had said
that a total ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks after they had ceased
to be capable of breeding or working as draught animals was not in the
interests of the general public. Yet this is exactly what the impugned
provision does by imposing a double restriction. It lays down that even if the
animal is permanently unserviceable, no certificate can be given unless it is
more than 20 years in age. The restriction will in effect put an end to the
trade of the petitioners.
Thirdly, the impugned provision provides (1)
that the animal shall not be slaughtered within 20 days of the date of the
issue of the certificate and (2) that any person aggrieved by the order of the
competent authority may appeal to the State Government within 20 days. It is to
be noted that the right of appeal is not (1)  S.C R. 629.
627 confined to a refusal to grant a
certificate as in the Bihar Act, but the right is given to any person aggrieved
by the order of the competent authority. In other words, even when a
certificate is given, any person, even a member of the public, who feels
aggrieved by it may prefer an appeal and hold up the slaughter of the animal
for a long time. From the practical point of view these restrictions really put
a total ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks even after they have ceased
to be useful, and we must hold, following our decision in Md. Hanif Quareshi's
case (1) that s. 3 of the Uttar Pradesh Act in so far as it imposes unreasonable
restrictions on the right of the petitioners as to slaughter of bulls and
bullocks infringes the fundamental right of the petitioners and is to that
(3) Now, we come to the Madhya Pradesh Act.
Several provisions of this Act have been challenged before us as imposing
unreasonable restrictions on the fundamental right of the petitioners. Section
4 deals with prohibition of slaughter of agricultural cattle. The expression
'agricultural cattle' means an animal specified in the schedule: it means cows
of all ages; calves of cows and of she-buffaloes; bulls; bullocks; and male and
female buffaloes. As we have stated earlier, we are concerned in these cases
with the validity of the restrictions placed on the slaughter of bulls,
bullocks and buffaloes. Now, s. 4 is in these terms:
"S. 4(1) Notwithstanding anything
contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any usage or
custom to the contrary, no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered or
offer or cause to be offered, for slaughter(a) cows, calves of cows, or calves
of she-buffaloes, or (b) any other agricultural cattle unless he has obtained
in respect of such cattle a certificate in writing issued by the Competent
Authority for the area in which the cattle is to be slaughtered that the cattle
is fit for slaughter.
(1)  S.C.R.29.
628 (2) No certificate under clause (b) of
sub-section (1) shall be issued by the Competent Authority .unless the
Veterinary Officer after examining the cattle certifies that(a) the cattle is
over twenty years of age and is unfit for work or breeding or has become
permanently incapacitated from work or breeding due to age, injury, deformity
or an incurable disease; and (b) the cattle is not suffering from any disease
which makes its meat unwholesome for human consumption.
(3) The Competent Authority shall, before
issuing or refusing to issue a certificate under this section, record its order
in writing. Any person aggrieved by the order of the Competent Authority under
this section, may, within ten days of the date of the order, prefer an appeal
against such order to the Collector of the district or such other officer as
may, by notification, be authorised in this behalf by the State Government, and
the Collector or such other officer may pass such orders thereon as he thinks
(4) Subject to the orders passed in appeal,
if any, under sub-section (3), the order of the Competent Authority shall be
final and shall not be called in question in any Court." Section 5 places
a restriction as to the place and time for slaughter and the objection taken
before us relates to the time rather than to the place of slaughter. It says in
effect that no cattle in respect of which a certificate has been issued under
s. 4 shall be slaughtered within ten days of the date of issue of the
certificate and where an appeal is preferred against the grant of such
certificate, till the time such appeal is disposed of. The provision of appeal
is contained in sub-s. (3) of s. 4 of the Act which we have quoted earlier.
That sub-section lays down that any person aggrieved by the order of the
Competent Authority, may, within ten days of the date of the order, prefer an
appeal against the order to the Collector of the district or such other officer
as may, by notification, be authorised in this behalf by the State Government.
629 Section 6 imposes a restriction on the
transport of agricultural cattle for slaughter and reads:
"S. 6. No person shall transport or
offer for transport or cause to be transported any agricultural cattle from any
place within the State to any place outside the State, for the purpose of its
slaughter in contravention of the provisions of this Act or with the knowledge
that it will be or is likely to be, so slaughtered." Section 7 prohibits
the sale, purchase or disposal otherwise of certain kinds of animals. It
"S. 7. No person shall purchase, sell or
otherwise dispose of or offer to purchase, sell or otherwise dispose of or
cause to be purchased, sold or otherwise disposed of cows, calves of cows or
calves of she buffaloes for slaughter or knowing or having reason to believe
that such cattle shall be slaughtered." Section 8 relates to possession of
flesh of agricultural cattle and is in these terms: "S. 8. Notwithstanding
anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no person
shall have in his possession flesh of any agricultural cattle slaughtered in
contravention of the provisions of this Act." Section 10 imposes a penalty
for a contravention of s.
4(1)(a) and s. 11 imposes penalty for a
contravention of any of the other provisions of the Act.
On behalf of the petitioners it has been
pointed out, and rightly in our opinion, that cl. (a) of sub-s. (2) of s. 4 of
the Act imposes an unreasonable restriction on the right of the petitioners.
That clause in its first part lays down that the cattle (other than cows and
calves) must be over 20 years of age and must also be unfit for work or
and in the second part it says, "or has
become permanently incapacitated from work or breeding due to age, injury,
deformity or an incurable disease." It is a little difficult to understand
why the two parts are juxtaposed in the section. In any view the restriction
that the animal must be over 20 years of age and also unfit for work or
breeding is an excessive or unreasonable restriction as we have 80 630 pointed
out with regard to a similar provision in the Uttar Pradesh Act. The second
part of the clause would not be open to any objection, if it stood by itself.
If, however, it has to be combined with the age limit mentioned in the first
part of the clause, it will again be open to the same objection; if the animal
is to be over 20 years of age and also permanently incapacitated from work or
breeding etc., then the age limit is really meaningless. Then, the expression
'due to age' in the second part of the clause also loses its meaning. It seems
to us that cl. (a) of subs. (2) of s. 4 of the Act as drafted is bad because it
imposes a disproportionate restriction on the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and
buffaloes it is a restriction excessive in nature and not in the interests of
the general public.
The test laid down is not merely permanent
incapacity or unfitness for work or breeding but the test is something more
than that, a combination of age and unfitness' Learned Counsel for the
petitioners has placed before us an observation contained in a reply made by
the Deputy Minister in the course of the debate on the Bill in the Madhya
Pradesh Assembly (see Madhya Pradesh Assembly Proceedings, Vol. 5 Serial no. 34
dated April 14, 1959, page 3201). He said that the age fixed was very much
higher than the one to which any animal survived. This observation has been
placed before us not with a view to an interpretation of the section, but to
show what opinion was held by the Deputy Minister as to the proper age limit.
On behalf of the respondent State our attention has been drawn to a book called
The Miracle of Life (Home Library Club) in which there is a statement that
oxen, given good conditions, live about 40 years. Our attention has also been
drawn to certain extracts from a Hindi book called Godhan by Girish Chandra
Chakravarti in which there are statements to the effect that cows and bullocks
may live up to 20 or 25 years.
This is an aspect of the case with which we
have already dealt. The question before us is not the maximum age upto which
bulls, bullocks and buffaloes may live in rare cases.
The question before us is what is their
average longevity and at what age 631 they become useless. On this question we
think that the opinion is almost unanimous, and the opinion which the Deputy
Minister expressed was not wrong.
Section 5 in so far as it imposes a
restriction as to the time for slaughter is again open to the same objection as
has been discussed by us with regard to a similar provision in the Uttar
Pradesh Act. A right of appeal is given to any person aggrieved by the order.
In other words, a member of the public, if he feels aggrieved by the order
granting a certificate for slaughter, may prefer an appeal and hold up for a
long time the slaughter of the animal. We have pointed out that for all
practical purposes such a restriction will really put an end to the trade of
the petitioners and we are unable to accept a restriction of this kind as a
reasonable restriction within the meaning of cl. (6) of Art. 19 of the
Section 6 standing by itself, we think, is
not open to any serious objection. It is ancillary in nature and tries to give
effect to the provision of the Act prohibiting slaughter of cattle in
contravention of the Act.
Section 7 relates to the prohibition of sale,
purchase etc., of cows and calves and inasmuch as a total ban on the slaughter
of cows and calves is valid, no objection can be taken to s. 7 of the Act. It
merely seeks to effectuate the total ban on the slaughter of cows and calves
(both of cows and she-buffaloes). Section 8 is also ancillary in character and
if the other provisions are valid no objection can be taken to the provisions of
s. 8. Sections 10 and 11 impose penalties and their validity cannot be
However, we must say a few words about s. 12
of the Act which has also been challenged before us. Section 12 is in these
"S. 12. In any trial for an offence
punishable under section 11 for contravention of the provision of sections 5, 6
or 7 of this Act the burden of proving that the slaughter, transport or sale of
agricultural cattle was not in contravention of the provisions of this Act
shall be on the accused." The argument is that s. 12 infringes the
fundamental 632 right of the petitioners inasmuch as it puts the burden of
proof on an accused person not only for his own knowledge or intention but for
the knowledge or intention of other persons. We do not think that this
contention is correct.
The accused person, so far as ss. 5 and 7 are
concerned, must be the person who has slaughtered the animal or who has
purchased, sold or otherwise disposed of the animal etc.
Therefore, the only question will be his
knowledge and the legislature was competent to place the burden of proof on
him. So far as s. 6 is concerned, it specifically refers to the knowledge of
the person who has transported or offered for transport or caused to be
transported any agricultural cattles from any place within the State to any
place outside the State. Therefore, when the section talks of knowledge, it
talks of the knowledge of that person who has transported or offered for
transport etc. The knowledge of no other person comes into the purview of s. 6.
We are, therefore,' of the view that s. 12 is not invalid on the ground suggested
by the petitioners.
Therefore, the result of our examination of
the various provisions of the Act is that the impugned provisions in cl. (a) of
sub-s. (2) of s. 4, in sub-s. (3) of s. 4 relating to the right of appeal by
any person aggrieved by the order, and in s. 5 relating to the time of
slaughter, impose unreasonable and disproportionate restrictions which must be
held to be unconstitutional.
As to the Madhya Pradesh Agricultural Cattle
Preservation Rules, r. 3 says "that an application for a certificate under
s. 4 shall be made to the competent authority," and r.
4 says that on receipt of the application,
the competent authority shall by an order direct the person keeping the animal
to submit it for examination by the Veterinary Officer Rule 5 reproduces the
provisions of cls. (a) and (b) of sub-s. (2) of s. 4 and in so far as we have
held that the provision in el. (a) of sub-s. (2) of s. 4 is unconstitutional,
the rule must also fall with it.
There is one other aspect of these cases
which has been emphasized before us, to which a reference must 633 now be made.
It is open to the legislature to enact ancillary provisions to give effect to
the main object of the Act, namely, the prevention of slaughter of animals like
bulls, bullocks or buffaloes which are still useful for the purposes for which
they are generally used. It is pointed out that acts innocent in themselves may
be prohibited and the restrictions in that regard would be reasonable, if the
same were necessary to secure efficient enforcement of valid provisions. For
example, it is open to the legislature, if it feels it necessary, in order to
reduce the possibilities of evasion to a minimum, to enact provisions which
would give effect to the main object of the legislation. We have not ignored
this aspect and have kept in mind the undisputed right of the legislature to
decide what provisions are necessary to give effect to the main object of the
legislation. In these cases the petitioners have complained that the main
object of the impugned provisions is not the prohibition of slaughter of
animals which are still useful;
the impugned provisions as they are worded
really put a total ban on the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes and
for all practical purposes they put a stop to the profession and trade of the
petitioners. We have held that this complaint is justified in respect of the
main provisions in the three Acts.
We, therefore, allow the three writ petitions
and direct, as we directed in Md. Hanif Quareshi's case (1) the respondent
States not to enforce the Acts or the rules made there under in so far as they
have been declared void by us. The petitioners will be entitled to their costs
of the hearing in this Court.
(1)  S.C.R. 629.