A judge of the Rajasthan High Court today recommended that the cow be declared the national animal of India and also that punishment in the state for cow slaughter be increased from the current 10 years’ imprisonment to a life term.
Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma said Rajasthan’s most senior bureaucrat, the Chief Secretary, must coordinate with the Centre on his recommendation. “Nepal is a Hindu nation and has declared the cow as its national animal…It is expected from the state government that they should take action to get a legal entity for the cow in this country,” said Justice Sharma, who retires today.
The judge was hearing a compliance report on the management of a cow shelter near state capital Jaipur, when he made the observations. He told NDTV that his 20-point recommendations in court today were “the voice of my soul,” describing himself as “a devotee of Lord Shiv who revers the cow.”
Even the petitioner in the original cow shelter case Poonam Chand Bhandari was taken aback, saying his plea had not included this. Judgement in his case on the mismanagement of the cow shelter was given by Justice Sharma four years ago.
“We will study the recommendations and see legally what is implementable. These are not binding of course, but they are to be taken seriously,” said Additional Advocate General GS Gill who attended the compliance meeting in court today on behalf of the state government.
Justice Sharma said his recommendations in court today were not linked to the beef debate raging across the country and he refused to comment on the Madras High Court putting on hold on Tuesday the Centre’s new restrictions on sale and slaughter of cattle.
There have been protests in Tamil Nadu and several other states, with protesters saying the rules violate their right to eat food of their choice. Governments in states like West Bengal and Kerala have…