The Uttarakhand Law Commission has recommended changes in the state’s Protection of Cow Progeny Act to declare the animal “mother of the nation”.
“The cow should be declared Rashtra Mata in the interest of the nation and justice,” the state’s Law Commission said in its fifth report to the state government, now available to the media.
Changes in the 2007 act are also necessary for setting up veterinary centres and shelters for stray cows, and penalising cattle owners in case of cruelty to the animals, the report said.
It also suggested setting up call centres and toll-free phone numbers help people report cruelty against stray cows.
The Uttarakhand Assembly had also passed a unanimous resolution in September last year, seeking the `Rashtra Mata’ status for the cow.
Among other suggestions, the commission recommended revival of the provision for anticipatory bail which was suspended during the Emergency, its chairman Justice Rajesh Tandon said Wednesday.
It has also suggested the repeal of several laws that have become obsolete. The laws that the panel wants scrapped mostly go back to the time when Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh.
However, the Uttarakhand High Court has already ruled against the provision that blocked anticipatory bail in the state for those fearing arrest.
In an order issued last year, the high court said section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that relates to anticipatory bail shall be applicable in Uttarakhand as well.
The suspension of anticipatory bail goes back to an Uttar Pradesh-specific amendment to the CrPC provision for anticipatory bail.
“The provision for anticipatory bail under section 438 of the CrPC was suspended during the Emergency in 1975. But in the present circumstances there is no need to keep it suspended,’ Justice Tandon, a former judge of the Uttarakhand High Court, said.
“Hence revival of the provision for anticipatory bail before regular bail under Article 21 of the Constitution of India through an amendment is imperative,” he said at a press conference. The Article relates to the right to life and personal liberty.
The recommendation is part of the commission’s reports submitted to the state government since the panel’s creation in January last year, he said.
The commission has submitted nine reports so far, he said.
The recommendations, awaiting the state cabinet’s approval, have already been presented before Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and the state Law Minister Prakash Pant, he said.
The commission has recommended the passage of a Chardham Yatra Act on the lines of the Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, he said.
The commission has suggested repeal of laws which have become obsolete and amendments to others to make them more relevant, he said.
These include the Uttar Pradesh Advertisement Act, 1981, the Uttarakhand Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Areas Act, 2008, Basic Education Act, 1972, the United Provinces Acquisition of Property (Flood Relief) Act, 1972, The United Provinces Aerial Ropeways Act, 1972.
Date: 02 Jan 2019