10 May 1996
Supreme Court


Case number: C.A. No.-008250-008250 / 1996
Diary number: 84616 / 1992






DATE OF JUDGMENT:       10/05/1996




JUDGMENT:                       J U D G M E N T KIRPAL,J.      Leave granted.      The challenge  in this  is to  the validity of the M.P. Krishik  Pashu   Parirakshan  (Sanshodhan)  Adhiniyam,  1991 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Amending Act’) by virtue of which a  total ban  has been imposed on the slaughter of the bulls and bullocks in the State of Madhya Pradesh.      The appellant  is engaged  in the  butcher’s  trade  in Jabalpur and,  according to  him, he mainly slaughters bulls and bullocks which are unfit either for breeding, draught or milch purpose. These animals are slaughtered only after they are  certified   as  fit  for  slaughter  by  the  Municipal Corporation of  Jabalpur in  the State  of  Madhya  Pradesh, which has  a meat  market where  the meat  is sold  under  a licence granted  by the  Corporation. It is alleged that the appellant’s family is engaged in the butcher’s trade for the past several  generations and  this  vocation  is  the  only source of livelihood of the family.      Prior to  the passing  of the amending Act, sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the M.P. Agriculture Cattle Preservation Act,  1959   prohibited  slaughter   of  certain   types  of agriculture cattle. This provision was as under:-      "4.  PROHIBITION  OF  SLAUGHTER  OF      AGRICULTURAL       CATTLE       (1)      Notwithstanding anything  contained      in any other law for the time being      in force  or i  any usage or custom      to the  contrary, no  person  shall      slaughter   of    cause    to    be      slaughtered or offer or cause to be      offered, for slaughter:-      (i) cows, calves of cows, calves of      she buffalo or;      (ii) any  other agriculture  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.      By the  Amending a  new sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Principal Act was inserted which reads as follows:-      "(1)    Notwithstanding    anything      contained in  any other law for the      time being in  force or in ay 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) cow,  calf of  cow, calf of she-      buffalo, bull or bullock; and      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."      Sub-section  (2)  to  (5)  remained      unaltered.      The  unamended  Section  4(1)  by  sub-clause  (i)  had imposed an  absolute ban on the slaughter of cows, calves of cows, or calves of she-buffalo, but other agriculture cattle like male  and female buffaloes, bulls and bullocks could be slaughtered only on  the receipt of a certificate in writing by the Competent Authority to the effect that the cattle was fit for  slaughter. As  a result of the amendment introduced by the  Amending Act  bulls and  bullocks have been added to sub-clause (a)  of sub-section  (1) of  Section 4  with  the result that  an absolute  ban  on  slaughter  of  bulls  and bullocks has  also been  imposed. notwithstanding  the  fact that the said animals may  have ceased to be draught animals or may  have become  permanently incapacitated  for work  or breeding or for any other purposes.      The appellant  challenged the  Amending Act  of 1991 by filing a  writ petition  in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur.  The contention  of the  appellant was that the Amending Act  violated  the  appellant’s  fundamental  right under Article  19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and the restriction now  placed were  unreasonable and not in public interest. It  was also  the case  of the  appellant that the presence of  a large  number of  old and useless animals was bad for  the economy  and the  banning of  the slaughter  of bulls and  bullocks was  actually in  violation of  the duty cast on  the State by Article 48 of the Constitution. It was also contended  that there  was shortage  of fodder  in  the State of  Madhya Pradesh  and that preservation of bulls and bullocks above  the age  of 15 years, which had ceased to be useful for  breeding, draught  and other purposes, will have deleterious effect on the agricultural economy of the State. It was also submitted that not only will the preservation of these useless  animals put  a pressure on the scant food and fodder available  in the  State but  such animals  will also become a  menace to  the  standing  crop  as  these  useless animals are  not cared  for by  the owners  and  allowed  to stray. The  appellant sought to give facts and figures in an effort to  show that  the absolute  ban on  the slaughter of bulls and  bullocks was  neither in  the public interest nor was it  a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right of the appellant  guaranteed under  Article 19  (1) (g)  of the Constitution of India.      The respondents  sought to  justify the validity of the amending Act  by referring  to its  statement of objects and reasons and contending that the bulls and bullocks ought not



be slaughtered.  The aforesaid  objects and  reasons were as follows:-      "  The  economy  of  the  State  of      Madhya     Pradesh     is     still      predominantly agriculture.  In  the      Agriculture section, use of animals      for  milch.  draught,  breeding  of      agricultural               purposes      preponderates. It  has,  therefore,      become   necessary    to   emphasis      preservation  and   protection   of      agricultural  animals   by  dealing      more stringently  with slaughter of      cattle than  before. Viewed in this      perspective, the amendment proposed      to encompass calf of she buffalo or      bull or bullock within the mischief      of   the basic  provision  of  this      enactment can  be said  to  have  a      reasonable  nexus  to  the  purpose      originally    stated     for    the      legislation. What  with the growing      adoption of non-conventional energy      source like  bio-gas  plants,  even      waste-materials   have    come   to      achieve considerable value. In this      backdrop,   yielding,    milk    or      breeding  or   working  as  draught      animals can not any more be said to      be useless.  That being  so,  there      can be  no doubt about the proposed      amendment which  is to  cover  such      animals  through  this  legislation      being reasonable in the interest of      the general pubic. This legislation      is aimed at implementing the object      of Article  48 of  the Constitution      of India."      The Division  Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur, after  referring to the decisions of this Court in the cases  of Mohd, Hanif Quareshi and Ors. Vs. The State of Bihar. 1959 SCR 629. Abdul Hakim Quraishi and Ors. Vs. State of Bihar,  1961 (2)  SCR 610  and Mohd.  Faruk Vs.  State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors., 1970 (1) SCR  156 observed that the ration of  these decisions  was that  "if bulls and bullocks are useful  then  ban  on  their  slaughter  is  within  the competence of  the legislature,  as  the  legislation  falls under clause (6) of Article 19 of the Constitution of India, imposing reasonable restrictions on the fundamental right to carry on trade, occupation or business. However, a total ban is not  permissible if  under economic  conditions keeping a useless bull  or bullock will be a burden on the society and therefore not  in the  public interest". The High Court then referred to  statements made  in a  research paper published from Germany in 1987, which referred to the availability  to the farmer  of cattle  dung for  fuel and  manure.  It  also referred to  All India Statistics 1989 published by C.M.I.E. which had suggested that there should be effective programme for conservation  of soil and water and promotion of organic manure to  safeguard and strengthen the ecological structure of agriculture.  The High  Court also referred to some other publications  of   different  authors  for  the  purpose  of concluding that there was no acute shortage of cattle fodder and that  it was  better to  use the cattle dung as a manure rather than  using chemical fertilizers. It then came to the



conclusion that  bulls and  bullocks were useful animals and the ban  on the  slaughter was  in  consonance  with  social interest. It  also observed  that it was the courts’ duty to give harmonious construction to the directive principles and duties vis-a-vis  the fundamental rights and Article 51-A(g) imposed the  duty on  every citizen  "to have compassion for living  creature"  and,  therefore,  applying  the  rule  of harmonious construction the Amending Act of 1991 fell within the ambit  of Article  19 (6)  of the Constitution. The High Court accordingly upheld the validity of the Amending Act.      The main  thrust of  the  argument  on  behalf  of  the appellant in  this appeal  is that  the Amending  Act is yet another attempt  by the  State of Madhya Pradesh to impose a total  ban   on  the   slaughter  of   bulls  and   bullocks notwithstanding  the  fact  that    similar  attempts,  made earlier,  had  failed,  Relying  upon  the  above  mentioned decisions of  this Court,  it  was  contended  by  Mr.  G.L. Sanghi, learned  Senior counsel  for the appellant, that the point in  issue, namely,  whether there could be an absolute ban on  the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, stood concluded in favour  of the appellant by a series of judgments of this Court and,  therefore, the  High Court  ought to have upheld the appellant’s contention.      On behalf  of the  respondents reliance  was placed  on some articles  and research paper in order to show that even after the  bulls and  bullocks have  ceased  to  be  draught animals, they  are still  useful. The  usefulness  of  these bulls and bullocks was sough to be  established by reference to some  research papers  articles and books in which it was stated that  the cattle  dung which  was  available  to  the farmers or  agriculturists was a source of proving them with manure as  well as  bio gas and, in the interest of ecology, it was  much  better  to  use  organic  manure  rather  than chemical fertilizers.  Reference, in particular, was made to a paper  written by  one Mr.  Panna Lall  Mundhra, Chairman, Animal Welfare  Board of  India, in which he mentions that a single old  incapacitated animal  provides 4500 Ltrs. of bio gas, 120 tonnes of organic fertilizer, 2000 Ltrs. of organic pesticides, increases  they yield  of foodgrains by 30 to 40 tonnes per  hectare and  that if  all this  was  taken  into consideration, it  would work  out that each bull or bullock earned about  Rs. 20,000/-.  This is  one of the paper which was taken  into consideration  by the  High Court,  in t  he instant case,  incoming to  the conclusion  that  bulls  and bullocks were  useful animals even after they had become old and, therefore, they should not be slaughtered.      This is  the fourth  attempt by   the  State of  Madhya Pradesh to  impose a total ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks even  after they  become old and useless. The first attempt  was   the  enactment   of  C.P.  and  Berar  Animal Preservation Act,  1949. Which  placed a  total ban  on  the slaughter of  cows, bulls and bullocks and of all categories of animals of the species of "bovine cattle". This Act along with of  three other  States, namely, Bihar Preservation and Improvement of  Animals Act, 1956 and U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act,  1955, were  challenged before  this court in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi’s case (supra). The petitioners therein were butchers  and had  challenged the validity of the three Acts on  the plea  that  same  infringed  their  fundamental rights  under   Articles  14,   19(1)  (g)  and  25  of  the constitution. After  going into  all the  facets of the case and examining  the usefulness  of the cattle in great detail and keeping  in mind the availability of adequate fodder and other relevant facts, this Court held that: (1) total ban on the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves of  cows and of



she buffaloes.  male and  female, was  quite reasonable  and valid; (ii)  that a  total  ban  on  the  slaughter  of  she buffaloes or  breeding bulls  or working bullocks "cattle as well as  buffaloes", as  long as  they were capable of being used as  milch or  draught cattle,  we also  reasonable  and valid; (iii)  that a  total ban  on  the  slaughter  of  she buffaloes, bulls and bullocks "cattle or buffalo" after they ceased to  be capable  of yielding  milk or  of breeding  or working as  draught animals  was not  in the interest of the general public  and was invalid. In coming to the conclusion that ban  on the  slaughter of bulls and bullocks after they had become  useless, was not valid this Court in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi’s case (supra) at page 784 observed as follows:      "The country  is in short supply of      milch cattle,  breeding  bulls  and      working bullocks.  If the nation is      to maintain  itself in  health  and      nourishment and  get adequate food,      our cattle  must  be  improved.  In      order to achieve this objective our      cattle population  fit for breeding      and work  must be  property fed and      what ever cattle food is now at our      disposal and  whatever more she can      produce must  be made  available to      the useful   cattle  which  are  in      present  or   will  in   futuro  be      capable of  yielding milk  or doing      work. The  maintenance the nation’s      cattle feed. To maintain them is to      deprive the  useful cattle  of  the      much   needed    nourishment.   The      presence of so many useless animals      tends to  deteriorate  the  useless      animals tends  to  deteriorate  the      breed. total  ban on  the slaughter      of cattle,  useful or otherwise, is      calculated to bring about a serious      dislocation, though  not a  compete      stoppage,  of  the  business  of  a      considerable section  of the people      who  are   by  occupation  butchers      (kassais), hide  merchants  and  so      on. Such  a ban will also deprive a      large section of the people of what      may be  their staple  food. at  any      rate, they  will have to forego the      little protein  food which  may  be      within their  means to take once to      twice in  the week. Preservation of      useless cattle  by establishment of      Gosadans  is   not,  for   reasons,      already  indicated,   a   practical      proposition. Preservation  of these      useless animals  by sending them to      concentration  camps  to  fend  for      themselves is  to leave  them to  a      process of  slow death and does not      good  them.  On  the  contrary,  it      hurts  the  best  interest  of  the      nation in  that the  useless cattle      drprive the  useful one  of a  good      part   of    the    cattle    food,      deteriorate    the     breed    and      eventually affect the production of



    milk and breeding bulls and working      bullocks,  besides   involving  and      enormous  expense  which  could  be      better  utilised  for  more  urgent      needs."      After   the judgment  in Mohd.  Hanif  Quareshi’s  case (supra), the second attempt was made enacting Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Cattle  Preservation, 1959  whereby Section 4(2) (a) and  Rule 5 prohibited the slaughter of bull, bullock or buffalo except  upon a  certificate issued  by  a  competent authority and  such certificate  could not issued unless the animal was  over 20 years of age and was unit for working or breeding. Similar  attempts were made by the States of Bihar and U.P.  which had  provided minimum age of 25 and 20 years respectively  before   the  bulls   and  bullocks  could  be slaughtered. The  Acts of these three States were challenged in Abdul  Hakim’s case  (supra). This  Court, while allowing the petitions,  held that a bull, bullock or buffalo did not remain useful after it was 15 years old, and whatever little use it  may then  have, was  greatly offset  by the economic disadvantage  of   feeding  and   maintaining  unserviceable cattle. The  Court took  note of  the fact  that in  some of books it  was stated that cows and bullocks may live upto 20 or 25  years, but  it was observed that "the question before us is  not the maximum age upto which bulls and bullocks and buffalo may  live in  rare cases.  The question before us is what is  their average  longivity, at  what age  they become useless, on  this question  we think  that  the  opinion  is almost unanimous,  and the opinion which the Deputy Minister expresses was not wrong".      The third  attempt to  circumvent the judgment in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi’s  case which  had the  effect of  imposing a complete ban  on the  slaughter of bulls and bullocks within the Jabalpur  Municipality was  made in the year 1967. Under the bye-laws  of the  Jabalpur Municipality a licence and to be obtained for the slaughter of bulls and bullocks. Section 257(3) of  the Madhya  Pradesh  Municipal  Corporation  Act, 1956, prohibited  the slaughter of animals in places outside the premises fixed by the Municipality. Under a notification issued in  1948 bye-laws  were promulgated  which  permitted bulls and  bullocks to  be slaughtered in premises fixed for the purpose.  By the  impuged notification  dated  12.1.1967 confirmation of  the aforesaid  bye-laws in  so far  as they related to  slaughter of  bulls and  bullocks was cancelled. The  effect   of  this  notification  was  to  prohibit  the slaughter  of  bulls  and  bullocks  within  the  limits  of Municipality of  Jabalpur. Challenging  the cancellation  of these bye-laws  it was  alleged by  the petitioners  therein that the  impuged notification  imposed a direct restriction on their  fundamental right  under Article  19(1)(g) of  the Constitution. Allowing  the writ petition it was observed at page 160  that "imprisonment  of restriction on the exercise of fundamental  right may  be in  the  form  of  control  or prohibition, but when the exercise of a fundamental right is prohibited, the  burden or  proving that  a total ban on the exercise of  the right  alone may  ensure the maintenance of the general  public interest  lies heavily  upon the State". While quashing  the impugned notification it was observed at page 161 that "the sentiments of a section of the people may be hurt  by permitting  slaughter of  bulls and  bullocks in premises maintained  by a local authority. But a prohibition imposed on  the exercise  of a fundamental right to carry on an occupation,  trade or  business will   not be regarded as reasonable. If  it is  imposed not  in the  interest of  the general public,  but merely  to respect the susceptibilities



and sentiments  of a  sections of  the people  whose way  of life, belief  or thought  is not  the same  as that  of  the claimant."      Now in  1991 the  State of  Madhya  Pradesh  has,  once again, sought  to ban the slaughter of bulls and bullocks by enacting the amending Act. The law now enacted is similar to the one  which was  quashed by  this Court  in  Mohd.  Hanif Quarishi’s case  (supra). Having  failed to  circumvent  the judgment of  this Court in Mohd. Hanif’s case by fist fixing the minimum  age of  bulls and bullocks at 20 years and then when it  sought to  prohibit  the  slaughter  of  bulls  and bullocks within  the limits  of the  Municipality, the State has chosen.  notwithstanding the  judgment in  Mohd. Hanif’s Case (supra),  to impose  a complete ban on the slaughter of bulls and  bullocks and  has sought to justify its action by referring to  the manifold  benefits of  cattle  dung  which would be  available to  the agriculturists  and farmers even from the useless animals.      Three different  constitution Benches  of this Court in Mohd. Hanif’s  case, Abdul  Hakim.’s case  and Mohd. Faruk’s case (supra)  have held that total ban on slaughter of bulls and  bullocks   is  ultra   vires  the    constitution.  The submission which  have now  been made and seem to have found favour with the High Court, with reference to the usefulness and merits  of cattle  dung and  the part which it plays  in the rural  economy, has  been dealt  with at  length by this court in  Mohd. Hanif’s  case  (supra).  The  right  of  the butchers to  practice their  trade has  been upheld in these decisions and  because there  is a  short  supply  of  milch cattle, total  ban on  their slaughter was upheld as being a reasonable restriction  in the  interest of  general public. But it  was held  in no  uncertain terms that a total ban on the slaughter  of useless cattle, which involves a wastesful drain on  the nation’s  cattle fodder,  which itself  was in short supply  and which  would deprive  the useful cattle of much needed  nourishment, could not be justified as being in the interest of general public.      Though some  literature was placed on and was sought to be relied  upon by  the counsel  for the  respondent  in  an effort to  show that, with the passage of time, the position has changed  and now  the  utility  of  the  old  bulls  and bullocks has  grown. We  are not  satisfied, as contended by Dr. A.M. Singhvi, learned Senior Counsel for the respondent, that there  is any  change in  the circumstances or that the decisions of this Court in the aforesaid three cases require reconsideration. The  consistent view  of this   Court since 1958 being that total ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks which had become old amounted to an unreasonable restriction on the  fundamental rights  of the  butchers, no  conclusive material  has  been  placed  on  record  to  show  that  the restriction now  placed is  to be  regarded  as  reasonable. Notwithstanding to the fact that the cattle dung is used for generating bio  gas, on  a specific  query  put  to  learned counsel for  the respondent, no information was available as to what  are the  number of  bio gas  plants which have been installed and  which are in operation and whether the cattle dung available is sufficient or not. Similarly, no authentic information was  given by the learned counsel with regard to the expense which will have to be incurred by cannot be used as milched  cattle or draught cattle. A fact which cannot be ignored is  that no  farmer or agriculturaist who has kept a bull or  bullock for  a number  of years  would sell it to a butcher unless and until it is uneconomic for him to  retain that animal.  Normally, it  would be only when an animal has become totally  useless, and  the expenses of maintaining it



outways its  utility, that  the animal  would be  sold to  a butcher. Compelling  the retention  of such  animal, by  not permitting its  sale for  being slaughtered  would not be in public interest.  It has  also not been shown that there has been any  increase in  the average  age  of  the  bulls  and bullocks. We  may here  notice that  the ban  placed on  the slaughter of the bull and bullocks below the age of 16 years in the  State of  Gujarat by  the Bombay Animal Preservation (Gujarat Amendment)  Act, 1979  was upheld  because  it  was observed that  because of  the  improvement    in  and  more scientific method  of cattle  breeding,  the  usefulness  of cattle for breeding, draught and other agricultural purposes was about  the age  of 16  years in  the State  of  Gujarat. Having concluded  that the  usual span of life was 16 years, the Constitution  Bench of this court held in Haji Usmanbhai Hasanbhai Qureshi  and Ors.  Vs. State of  Gujarat, 1986 (3) SCC 12  that the prescribed age of 16 years could be said to be a reasonable restriction  on the rights of the appellants therein to  carry on their trade and profession as mentioned in Article  19 (1) (g) of the Constitution. In reaching this conclusion it  was observed at page 18 that the prescription of the  age of  16 years  could "be  said to  be reasonable, looking to the balance which has to be struck between public interest, which  requires useful animals to be preserved and permitting the  different appellants  before us  to carry on their trade  and profession"  [Emphasis added].  This Court, therefore, in  Haji  Usmanbhai’s  case  (supra)  once  again reiterated the  principle of  striking a balance between the right of the butchers and the public interest.      The High Court has referred to and relied upon a number of articles and books written by different persons in coming to  the  conclusion  that  bulls  and  bullocks  are  useful animals, even if they become old, and their slaughter should be banned.  Dr. Singhvi  has also  sough to  rely on some of such documents.  The appellants  does  not  admit  that  the material relied  upon by the High Court presents the correct picture. Till  what age the cattle in question are useful is normally a  question of  fact.   In deciding such a question the High  Court should  have been  careful in  selecting the material  on  which  it  sought  to  rely.  Every    article published or a book written cannot ipso facto be regarded as conclusive or  worthy of  acceptance. What is stated therein may only  be a  view of the author and may no be based on an data which  is  scientifically  collected  from  a  reliable source. The  Writ Court  has to be very careful in accepting what data  should be  accepted and relied upon if there is a bona fide  dispute between the parties about the correctness of the  same, as  in this  case. For  example in the instant case not  only the High Court but Dr. Singhvi has also sough to place  reliance on  an article  written by  one Mr. Panna Lall Mundhra,  Chairman, Animal  Board of  India in which he has, inter alia, stated "the  cattle even after stopping the supply of  milk gives 3500 Kg. dung and 2000 litres of urine yearly which  in turn  supplies 4500 cft. bio-gas, 80 tonnes organic  fertilizers,   2000  litres   organic   pesticides, increases per  hectare yield  by  30-40  per  cent,  fetches higher price  for  their  produce  as  they    contain  more nutrient. All  these gain  if complied together works out to Rs.  20,000/-  per  cattle  per  year  to  the  owner."  The aforesaid statement  of the  author does  not indicate as to from where he has obtained the aforesaid information or data on the  basis of which he has concluded that the gain to  an owner by retaining a cattle which stopped giving the milk is still Rs.  20,000/- per  year. Merely because the article is written in which such a statement is made cannot be a reason



for accepting  as correct what is stated therein without the Court being  satisfied as  to the  basis  on  which  such  a conclusion has  been arrived  at. Merely because some person has made  such vague  and unsubstantial statement in writing can be  no ground for concluding that an absolute ban on the slaughter of  useless bulls  and bullocks  is  a  reasonable restriction under Articles 19 (o) of the Constitution.      We are pained to notice the successive attempts made by the State  of Madhya  Pradesh to  nullify the effect of this Court’s decisions  beginning with  Mohd.  Hanif’s  case  and ending with Mohd. Faruk’s case, each time on flimsy grounds. In this  last such  attempt, the  objects and  reasons  show insignificant and  unsupportable the ground for bringing the legislation was.  The main  trust of the objects and reasons for the legislation seems to be that even animals which have ceased to be capable of yielding milk or breeding or working as draught  animals can be useful as they would purduce dung which could  be used to generate non-conventional sources of energy like  bio-gas without  so much  as being aware of the cost of  maintaining such  animals for  the mere  purpose of dung. Even  the supportive  articles relied upon do not bear on this  point. It  is obvious  that successive attempts are being made  in the  hope that  some day  it will  succeed as indeed it  did with the High Court which got carried away by research papers  published only  two or  three years  before without realising that they dealt with the aspect of utility of dung  but had  nothing to  do with  the question  of  the utility of  animals which  have ceased to be reproductive or capable of  being used  as draught animals. Besides, they do not even  reflect on  the   economical aspect of maintaining such animals  for the  sole purpose  of dung. Prima facie it seems far fetched and yet the State Government thought it as sufficient to amend the law.      We may  note that  just as  the respondents  have  made statements with  regard  to  the  quantity  of  cattle  dung available and  the extent  of economic benefit which will be derived by the use of the same, similarly, the appellant has in his  writ petition  averred that  there is useless cattle will result  in large  scale pressure  on land  an  d  would decrease the  availability of  fodder. In  our opinion it is not  necessary  to  got  into    the  correctness  of  these allegations which  have been  considered at  length in Mohd. Hanif’s case  (supra). We see no  justification for the need of reconsideration of the  said decision. as was sough to be suggested.      With reference  to Article  48, on  which reliance  was also placed by Dr. Singhvi, it was observed by this Court in Mohd. Hanif  Quareshi’s case (supra) dealing with Article 48 as follows:      "The protection recommended by this      part of  the directive  is, in  our      opinion, confined  only to cows and      calves and  to those  animals which      are   presently    or   potentially      capable  of  yielding  milk  or  of      doing work  as draught  cattle  but      does not,  from the very  nature of      the  purpose   for  which   it   is      obviously  recommended,  extent  to      cattle which at one time were milch      or draught  cattle but which ceased      to be such."      It  is   clear  from  the  aforesaid  observation  that absolute ban  on slaughter  of bulls  and  bullocks  is  not necessary for complying with Article 48 of the Constitution.



    In view  of the  aforesaid decisions  of this Court the only  conclusion  which  can  be  arrived  at  is  that  the inclusion of  bull of  bullock in  sub-clause  (a)  of  sub- section (1)  of Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1959, brought about by the Amending Act of  1991 has  imposed an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental rights  of the appellant and to that extent only the sub-clause is held to be ultra vires. The effect of this would be that there would be a total ban on the slaughter of cow, calf of cow and calf of she buffalo while the slaughter of bull  or bullock,  along with  other agricultural cattle, shall fall  under sub-clause  (b) of Section 4(1) of the Act and they  can be  slaughtered after complying with provision of the  said-clause and obtaining a certificate contemplated by sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the said Act.      The appeal  is accordingly  allowed. The appellant will also be entitled to costs.