In what could be called the toughest law against cow slaughter in India, Gujarat on Friday passed a Bill that seeks to award life imprisonment to those found guilty of slaughtering cows.
Prime Minister Modi's home state has increased the conviction sentence for cow slaughter from maximum seven years to life imprisonment. The Bill -The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 - was brought in by the Animal Husbandry department of Gujarat.
The maximum fine for the offence has also been increased from Rs 50,000 to up to Rs 5 lakh and not less than Rs 1 lakh.
It has also made a provision that will allow state government to forfeit any vehicles caught in illegal transportation of cow, beef or beef products in the state.
"The vehicles or any conveyance so seized under sub section (3) shall stand forfeited to government in the manner as my be prescribed," the bill said.
"In the year 2011, the State Government had made certain amendments in the said Act for better implementation of the Act. It is, however, experienced while implementing the said Act that still more stringent provisions are required to be made by amending the said Act for curbing the menace of illegal slaughtering of the animals covered under the said Act to provide for more stringent punishment and effectively check the rampant use of vehicles for transporting such animals," the Bill reads.
Earlier in 2011, the then chief minister Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government had imposed a complete ban on slaughtering and transportation of cow and progeny by amending the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954. Cow slaughter is banned in 24 Indian states.