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Killing animals in the name of God continues to stay illegal: Kerala HC

Kerala High court upheld the constitutional validity of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968



Kerala High court upheld the constitutional validity of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968 while addressing the plea of Muraleedharan T and Vimal C V. The state legislation in question criminalizes the use of animals and birds at temples for the propitiation of deity.

The case made by the Petitioners  

1- The petitioners concluded that the state’s interference in religious matters restrained them from practicing and professing their religion, a stab at Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution.

2-They argued that this Act didn’t just affect Hindus but sacrificial rituals on the same lines are also part of Christianity as well as Islam.

Credit: Pen.museum

3- They also pointed out that the Central Government deems killing of animals as legal as it does not come under the ambit of Section 28, Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. Which begs the question of why not use the same logical backing for sacrificial rituals?


Court’s response

The 1960s central legislation works to prevent cruelty to animals whereas the 1968 state legislation is to prohibit the use of animals for sacrificial rites.

Moreover, the court clarifies that the Centre does not render the killing of an animal as an offense until it follows the guidelines of their respective religion and that here the motive is to minimize the pain inflicted, as the name suggests “Prevention of Cruelty”.

Upon deliberation by the Supreme Court, they have come to the conclusion that such acts are not protected under Section 25, freedom of religion unless they are essentials of the religion.

In conclusion, we know how Hinduism doesn’t care about their animal slaughtering. Such issues don’t rise in the ranks unless it is related to Cows or Dalits near cows. Kerala’s State legislation understanding the potential discourse this act can cause in the society brought in the prohibition in 1968. However, with their long-sightedness being misinterpreted as discriminatory it would be interesting to see how the petitioners pursue it.



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