Mohd. Hanif Quareshi & Others vs The State of Bihar
Supreme Court of India - Equivalent citations: 1958 AIR 731, 1959 SCR 629 - Bench: Das, Sudhi Ranjan (Cj), Aiyyar, T.L. Venkatarama, Das, S.K., Gajendragadkar, P.B., Bose, Vivian - DATE OF JUDGMENT: 23/04/1958
Cow slaughter-Legislation Placing total ban-If
Constitutional -Directive Principles of State Policy, value
of-Fundamental rights Reasonable
restrictions--Test-Intention in Supreme Court Proceedings,
when permissible-Bihar Preservation and Improvement of
Animals Act, 1955 (Bihar II of 1956)-U. P. Preve lion of
Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 (U. P. 1 of 1956)-C. P. and Berar
Animal Preservation Act, 1949 (C. P. and Berar LII of
1949)-Constitution of India, Arts. 14, 19, 48---Supreme
Court Rules, 0. XLI, r. 2.
The Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act ,955,
put a total ban on the slaughter of all categories of
animal,, of the species of bovine cattle. The U. P.
Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, put a total ban on
the slaughter of cows and her progeny which included bulls,
bullocks, heifers and calves. The C. P. and Berar Animal
Preservation Act, 1949, placed a total ban on the slaughter
of cows, male or female calves of cow, bulls, bullocks, and
heifers and the slaughter of buffaloes (male or female,
adults or calves) was permitted only under a certificate
granted by the proper authorities. No exception was made in
any of these Acts permitting slaughter of cattle even for
bona fide religious purposes. These three Acts were enacted
in pursuance of the directive principles of State policy
contained in Art. 48 Of the Constitution. The petitioners,
who were engaged in the butcher's trade and its subsidiary
undertakings, challenged the constitutional validity of the
three Acts on the grounds that they infringed their funda-
mental rights guaranteed under Arts. 14, 19(1)(g) and 25 of
the Constitution. The respondents contended that the
impugned Acts were constitutional and valid as they were
made in consonance with the directive principles of Art- 48
which were superior to the fundamental rights and that the
impugned Acts did not offend Art. 14, 19(1)(g) or 25
Held, (i) that a 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, was also reasonable and valid; and
(iii) that a total ban on the slaughter of she-buffaloes,
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 interests of the general
public and was invalid.
The directive in Art. 48 for taking steps for preventing the
slaughter of animals is quite explicit and positive and
contemplates a ban on the slaughter of the several
categories of animals specified therein, namely, cows and
calves and other cattle which answer the description of
milch or draught cattle. The protection is 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 extend to cattle which at one
time were milch or draught cattle but which have ceased to
be such. The directive principles of State policy set out
in Part IV of the Constitution have to conform to and run as
subsidiary to the fundamental rights in Part 111.
State of Madras v. Smt. Champakam Dorairajan,  S.C.R.
The ban on the slaughter of cows even on the slaughter day
did not violate the fundamental rights of the petitioners
under Art. 25 as it had not been established that the
sacrifice of a cow on that day was an obligatory overt act
for a Mussalman to exhibit his religious belief and idea.
Ratilal Panachand Gandhi v. The State of Bombay, 
S.C.R. 1055, applied.
The impugned Acts which affected only the butchers who
slaughtered cattle and not the butchers who slaughtered
sheep or goats, did not offend Art. 14 Of the Constitution.
The different categories of animals being susceptible of
classification into separate groups on the basis of their
usefulness to society, the butchers who kill each category
may also be placed in distinct classes according to the
effect produced on society by the carrying on of their
respective occupations. This classification is based on an
intelligible differentia which places the petitioners in a
well defined class and distinguishes them from those who
slaughter sheep or goats and this differentia has a close
connection with the object sought to be achieved by the im-
pugned Acts, namely, the preservation, protection and
improvement of livestock.
In determining the question of the. reasonableness of
restrictions imposed on the fundamental rights conferred by
Art. 19(1)(g) the Court cannot proceed on a general notion
of what is reasonable in the abstract or even on the
consideration of what is reasonable from the point of view
of the person or persons on whom the restrictions are
imposed. What the Court has to do is to consider whether
the restrictions imposed are reasonable in the interests of
the general public. The test of reasonableness has been
laid down in State of Madras v. I. G. Row,  S.C.R.
597 at 602. It should also be remembered that the
is the best judge of what is good for the community. Though
a constitutional question cannot be decided on the grounds
of the sentiment of a section of the people, it has to be
taken into consideration, though only as one of the
elements, in arriving at a judicial verdict as to the
reasonableness of the restrictions.
The effect of the impugned Acts on the fundamental rights of
the petitioners under Art. 19(1)(g) is direct and
instantaneous as soon as the Acts are brought into force,
and it has to be determined whether they can be justified
under cl. (6) of Art. 19 The country is in short supply of
milch cattle, breeding bulls and working bullocks, and a
total ban on the slaughter of these which are essential to
the national economy for the supply of milk, agricultural
working power and manure is a reasonable restriction in the
interests of the general public. But a total ban on the
slaughter of useless cattle, which involves a wasteful drain
on the nation's cattle feed which is itself in short supply
and which would deprive the useful cattle of much needed
nourishment, cannot be justified as being in the interests
of the general public.
Under O. XLI r. 2, Of file Supreme Court Rules intervention
is permitted only to the Attorney-General of India or the
Advocates-General for the States. There is no other
provision for permitting a third party to intervene in the
proceedings before the Supreme Court. In practice, however,
the Supreme Court, in- exercise of its inherent powers,
allows a third party to intervene when such third party is
a party to some proceedings in the Supreme Court or in the
High Courts where the same or similar questions are in
issue, for the decision of the Supreme Court will conclude
the case of that party.
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: Petitions Nos. 58, 83, 84, 103, 117, 126, 127, 128, 248, 144 & 145 of 1956 & 129 of 1957. Petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
H. J. Umrigar, N. H. Hingorani and A. G. Ratnaparkhi, for the petitioners in all the petitions except Petition No. 103 of 1956. The impugned Acts infringe the fundamental rights under Art. 19(1)(g) of the petitioners who are butchers, tanners, gut merchants, curers and cattle dealers to carry on their respective trades. Where, as in the present case, the enactment on the face of it violates a fundamental right the burden lies on those who support it to show that it falls within the purview of cl. (6) of Art. 19. Saghir, Ahmed v. The State of U.P., ( 1 S.C.R. 707 at 726);
Chiranjitlal Chowdhuri v. The Union of India, ( S.C.R. 869 at 891-892). The impugned Acts put a total ban on the trade and business of the petitioners who kill only cattle. Total prohibition of a trade which is not immoral or obnoxious can never be reasonable restriction within the meaning of el. (6) of Art. 19. Chintaman Rao v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, ( S.C.R. 759 at 765); R.M. Sheshadri v. The District Magistrate (  1 S.C.R. 686 at 689, 690); Cooverjee B. Bharucha v. The Excise Commis- sioner, (  S.C.R. 873); Rashid Ahmed. The Municipal Board, Kairana, ( S.C.R. 566). Total ban on the slaughter of cattle is not in the interests of the general public. Animal husbandry will suffer by a total ban. There is shortage of fodder and pasture in the country and the useless and uneconomic cattle will deprive the useful cattle of these things. Setting up of Gosadans for the uneconomic cattle will be a tremendous waste of public money. [Counsel referred to various official reports in this connection.] The impugned Acts create an odious discrimination between butchers and persons dealing solely in cows, bulls, etc., and those dealing in sheep and goats, and offend Art. 14. These Acts which single out the petitioners' community which kills only cows, bulls, etc., are hostile and discriminatory legislation. Ye Cong Eng v. Trinidad, (70 L. Ed. 1059 at 1071); Fowler v. Rhode Island, (97 L. Ed. 828); Lane v. Wilson, (83 L. Ed. 1281 at 1287); Ligget Co. v. Baldrige, (73 L. Ed. 204).
The impugned Acts also contravene Art. 25 as they prohibit the Mussalmans from performing the religious practice of the community to sacrifice the cow on the occasion of Bakr Id. Ratilal Panachand Gandhi v. The State of Bombay, ( S.C.R. 1055 at 1063).
The directive principles of State policy set out in Art. 48 can never override fundamental rights. The State of Madras v. Sm. Champakam Dorairajan, () S.C.R. 525 at 530); Saghir Ahmed's Case, (  ) 1 S.C.R. 707 at 727). The impugned Acts traverse, beyond the directive principles in Art. 48.
The Bihar and the Madhya Pradesh Acts which affect inter- State trade in cattle and beef offend Art. 301 and are void as the assent of the President was riot taken before enacting them.
Frank Anthony and K. L. Mehta, for the petitioners in Petition No. 103 of 1956. Section 9 of the U. P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act makes the slaughtering of cattle a cognisable and non-bailable offence. This and other provisions of the Act are ex facie restrictions on the right of the petitioners to carry on their trade. The onus is on the respondents to show that the restrictions are reasonable restrictions in the interests of the general public. Chintaman Rao v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, ( S. C. R. 759 at 763); Seghir Ahmed v. The State of U. P., ( 1 S. C. It. 707 at 726). The legislation is colourable and mala fide and is inspired by religious motives. State of Madras v. V. G. Rao, ( S. C. R. 597). Article 48 in so far as its imposes blanket ban on cow would have to yield to Art. 19 (1) (g). The restrictions in the Act amount to total prohibition and extinction of the trade of beef butchers. Saghir Ahmed's case; Dwarka Prasad Laxmi Narain v. The State of U. P., (  S.C.R. 803), Fairmout Creamery Co. v. Minnesota, (71 L. Ed. 893 it 897). The impugned Act offends Art. 14 as it discriminates against the beef butchers. These butchers have a legal right to slaughter cow for food or sacrifice. Naubahar Singh v. Qadir Bux, (A. 1. R. 1930 All. 753); Shahbazkhan v. Umrao Puri, (I. L. R. 30 All. 181); Emperor -v. Muhammad Yakub, (I. L. R. 32 All. 571).
C. K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General of India, with Mahabir- Prasad, Advocate-General of Bihar and S. P. Varma (respondent in Petitions Nos. 58, 83 and 84 of 1956), and with R. H. Dhebar, for the State of Bombay (respondent in Petition No. 117 of 1956). The legislature has thought fit that slaughter of cattle should be stopped in the inter states of animal husbandry and public policy. It is not for the Court to say that such a policy should not have been adopted. Both on the question of policy at-id the extent of the restrictions the Court should interfere only if it is convinced that in no view of the matter could the restrictions be reasonable. There are two conflicting opinions on this controversial matter, i. e., whether there should be total ban or only partial ban. In such a case the opinion of the legislators must prevail and the Court should not interfere where there is controversy as to facts. State of -Madras v. V. G. Rao, ( S. C. R. 597 at 606); The State of Bihar v. Maharajadhiraja Sir Kameshwar Singh, ( S. C. R. 889 at
941); Arumugham v. State of Madras, (I. L. R.  Mad.
937). Unless it can be said that the restrictions have no bearing on the object sought to be achieved the legislation must be upheld. Article 37 enjoins the State to apply the directive principles of State policy in Part IV of the Constitution in making law., The legislation is in accordance with the direction given in Art. 48. The object of the legislation is not to control any trade or industry but to improve the breed of cattle and to organise animal husbandry and agriculture. Unless the legislation directly hits trade or business it does not infringe Art. 19 (1) (g). A. K. Gopalan v. The State, (  S. C. R. 88 at 101); Ram Singh v. The State of Delhi, (  S. C. R. 451 at 455-457); R. S. Ram Jawaya Kapur v. The State of Punjab, ( 2 KS. C. R. 225); State of Bombay v. R. M. D. Chamar-baugwala, ( A. I. R. 1957 S. C. 699 at 721). B.Sen and R. H. Dhebar, for the State of Bombay (respondent in Petitions Nos. 126 to 128 and 248 of 1956), and for the State of Madhya Pradesh (respondent in Petition No. 144 of 1956).
M.Adhicary, Advocate-General for the, State of Madhya Pradesh and I. N. Shroff, for the State of Madhya Pradesh (respondent in Petition No. 145 of 1956), adopted the arguments of C. K. Daphtary.
H. N. Sanyal, Additional Solicitor-General of India, G.C. Mathur and C. P. Lal, for the State of U. P. (respondent in Petitions Nos. 103 of 1956 and 129 of 1957). The provisions of the U. P. Act have a reasonable relation to the purpose in view i. e. the directive in Art. 48 and consequently the Act cannot be said to offend Art. 19 (1) (g). Chintaman Rao v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, ( S. C. R. 759 at 763). According to the facts and figures given in the Gosamvardhan Enquiry Committee's Report the cattle population was actually decreasing and total ban on slaughter was necessary to protect and preserve the cattle. The State of U. P. had made ample provisions for looking after the decrepit cattle, and such cattle also was not uneconomic as it yielded hides and manure.
The U. P. Act which prohibits the slaughter of cattle but not that of buffaloes does not offend Art. 14 as the discrimination is based upon proper classification. The buffalo does not require any protection. The female buffalo is in no danger as its yield of milk is very high. The he- buffalo is not very useful for draught purposes and there is no need to protect it. Besides, the buffalo population is steadily increasing.
The U. P. Act does not violate Art. 25. Article 25 of our Constitution is similar to Art. 8 of the Irish Constitution. There is no religious compulsion on the Mussalmans to sacrifice a cow on Bakr Id Day.
Thakurdas Bhargava, as amicus curiae. The directive principles of State policy in Part IV of the Constitution are superior to fundamental rights and the enactments which are in pursuance of the directions given by Art. 48 are valid and constitutional even though they may infringe the fundamental rights of the petitioners. The total ban on cow slaughter in the impugned Acts is justified and is in the interests of the general public. The facts and figures given in the official reports are inaccurate, and there is no real shortage of fodder or pasture land. There is shortage of milk in the country and it is essential to protect the cow. The bullock takes the largest share in meeting the power requirement for our agricultural production. Cow dung manure contributes about rupees 63 crores per year to our national income.
H.J. Umrigar, in reply.
Frank Anthony, also replied.
1958. April 23. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by DAS C. J.-These 12 petitions under Art. 32 of our ,Constitution raise the question of the constitutional validity of three several legislative enactments banning the slaughter of certain animals passed by the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh respectively. The controversy concerning the slaughter of cows has been raging in this country for a number of years and in the past it generated considerable illwill amongst the two major communities resulting even in riots and civil commotion in some places. We are, however, happy to note that the rival contentions of the parties to these proceedings have been urged before us without importing into them the heat of communal passion and in a rational and objective way, as a matter involving constitutional issues should be. Some of these petitions come from Bihar, some from U. P. and the rest from Madhya Pradesh, but as they raise common questions of law, it will be convenient to deal with and dispose of them together by one common judgment.
Petitions Nos. 58 of 1956, 83 of 1956 and 84 of 1956 challenge the validity of the Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act, 1955 (Bihar 11 of 1956), hereinafter referred to as the Bihar Act. In Petition No. 58 of 1956 there are 5 petitioners, all of whom are Muslims belonging to the Quraishi community which is said to be numerous and an important section of Muslims of this country. The members of the community are said to be mainly engaged in the butchers' trade and its subsidiary undertakings such as the sale of hides, tannery, glue making, gut making and blooddehydrating, while some of them are also engaged in the sale and purchase of cattle and in their distribution over the various areas in the State of Bihar as well as in the other States of the Union of India. Petitioners Nos. 1 and 2 are butchers and meat vendors who, according to the petition, only slaughter cattle and not sheep or goats and are called " Kasais " in contradistinction to the "'Chicks " who slaughter only sheep and goats. After slaughtering the cattle these petitioners sell the hides to tanners or bide merchants who are also members of their community and the intestines are sold to gut merchants. It is said that there are approximately 500 other Kasais in Patna alone apart from 2 lacs of other Kasais all over the State of Bihar. The correctness of these figures is not admitted by the respondent State but we do not doubt that the number of Kasais is considerable. Petitioner No. 3 is the owner of a tanning factory and Petitioner No. 4 is a gut merchant, while Petitioner No. 5 is the General Secretary of Bihar State Jamiatul Quraish. In petition No. 83 there are 180 petitioners residing at different places in the State of Bihar who are all Muslims whose occupation is that of Kasais or cattle dealers or exporters of hides. In Petition No. 84 there are 170 petitioners all residents of Patna District who are also Muslims belonging to the Quraishi community and who carry on business as Kasais or dealers of cattle. All the petitioners in these three petitions are citizens of India.
The Bill, which was eventually passed as the Bihar Act, was published in the Bihar Gazette on April 20, 1953. The scheme of the Bill, as originally drafted, was, it is said, to put a total ban only on the slaughter of cows and calves of cows below three years of age. The Bill was sent to a Select Committee and its scope appears to have been considerably enlarged, as will be seen presently. The Bill, as eventually passed by the Bihar Legislature, received the assent of the Governor on December 8, 1.955, and was published in the Official Gazette on January 11, 1956. Section 1 of the Act came into force immediately upon such publication, but before any notification was issued under sub-s. (3) of s. 1 bringing the rest of the Act or any part of it into force in the State or any part of it, the present petitions were filed in this Court challenging the consti- tutional validity of the Act. On applications for an interim order restraining the State of Bihar from issuing a notification under s. 1(3) of the Act bringing the Act into operation having been made in these petitions, the respondent State, by and through the learned Solicitor General of India, gave an undertaking not to issue such notification until the disposal of these petitions and, in the premises, no order was considered necessary to be made on those applications.
Petition No. 103 of 1956 has been filed by two petitioners, who are both Muslims residing in Uttar Pradesh and carrying on business in that State, the first one as a hide merchant and the second as a butcher. Petitioners in Petition No. 129 are eight in number all of whom are Muslims residing and carrying on business in Uttar Pradesh either as gut merchants or cattle dealers, or Kasais or beef vendors or bone dealers or hide merchants or cultivators. All the petitioners in these two applications are citizens of India. By these two petitions the petitioners challenge the validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 (LT. P. 1 of 1956), hereinafter referred to as the U. P. Act and pray for a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondent State of Uttar Pradesh not to take any steps in pursuance of the U. P. Act or to interfere with the fundamental rights of the petitioners. Petitions Nos. 117 of 1956, 126 of 1956, 127 of 1956, 128 of 1956, 248 of 1956, 144 of 1956 and 145 of 1956 have been filed by 6, 95, 541, 58, 37, 976 and 395 petitioners respectively, all of whom are Muslims belonging to the Quraishi Community and are mainly engaged in the butchers' trade and its subsidiary undertaking such as the supply of hides, tannery, glue making, gutmaking and blood- dehydrating. Most of them reside at different places which, at the dates of the filing of these petitions were parts of the State of Madhya Pradesh, but which or parts of which have, in the course of the recent re-organisation of the States, been transferred to and amalgamated with the State of Bombay. In consequence of such re-organisation of the States the State of Bombay has had to be substituted for the respondent State of Madhya Pradesh in the first five petitions and to be added in the sixth petition, for a part of the district in which the petitioners resided had been so transferred, while the State of Madhya Pradesh continues to be the respondent in the seventh petition.By these petitions the petitioners %II of whom are citizens Of India, challenge the validity of the C. P. and Berar Animal Preservation Act, 1949 (C. P. and Berar Lll of 1949), as subsequently amended.
In order to appreciate the arguments advanced for and against the constitutional validity of the three impugned Acts it will be necessary to refer to the relevant provisions of the Constitution under or pursuant to which they have been made. Reference must first be made to Art. 48 which will be found in Chapter IV of the Constitution which enshrines what are called the directive principles of )State policy. Under Art. 37 these directive principles are not enforceable by any court of law but are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and are to be applied by the State in making laws. Article 48 runs thus:- Organisation 48. The State shall endeavour of agriculture and to organise agriculture 'and animal husbandry. animal husbandry oil modern and scientific lines and shall, in parti-
cular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle."
The principal purpose of this article, according to learned counsel for the petitioners, is to direct the ,State to endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and the rest of the provisions of that article are ancillary to this principal purpose. They contend that the States are required to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and for prohibiting the slaughter of the animals specified therein only with a view to implement that principal purpose, that is to say, only as parts of the general scheme for organising our agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. Learned counsel for the petitioners refer to the marginal note to Art. 48 in support of their contention on this part of the case. They also rely on entry 15 in List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. That entry reads: " Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases; veterinary training and practice." There is no separate legislative head for prohibition of slaughter of animals and that fact, they claim, lends support to their conclusion that the prohibition of the slaughter of animals specified in the last part of Art. 48 is only ancillary to the principal directions for preservation, protection and improvement of stock, which is what is meant by organising agriculture and animal husbandry. Learned counsel for the respondents and Pandit Thakurdas Bhargava, who appears as amicus cutriae, on the other hand, maintain that the article contains three distinct and separate directions, each of which should, they urge, be implemented independently -and as a separate charge. It is not necessary for us, on this occasion, to express a final opinion on this question. Suffice it to say that there is no conflict between the different parts of this article and indeed the two last directives for preserving and improving the breeds and for the prohibition of slaughter of certain specified animals represent, as is indicated by the words " in particular ", two special aspects of the preceding general directive for organising agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. Whether the last two directives are ancillary to the first as contended for by learned counsel for the peti- tioners or are separate and independent items of directives as claimed by counsel on the other side, the directive for taking steps for preventing the slaughter of the animals is quite explicit and positive and contemplates a ban on the slaughter of the several categories of animals specified therein, namely, cows and calves and other cattle which answer the description of milch or draught cattle. 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, extend to cattle which at one time were milch or draught cattle but which have ceased to be such. It is pursuant to these directive principles and in exercise of the powers conferred by Arts. 245 and 246 of the Constitution read with entry 15 in List 11 of the Seventh Schedule thereto that the, Legislatures of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya, Pradesh have respectively enacted the statutes which are challenged as unconstitutional. In order properly, to appreciate the meaning and scope of the impugned Acts it has to be borne in mind that each one of those Acts is a law with respect to " preservation, protection and improvement of stock ", and their constitutional validity will have to be judged in that context and against that background. Keeping this consideration in view, we proceed now to examine the relevant provisions of the three Acts.
The title of the Bihar Act is " An Act to provide for the preservation and improvement of certain animals in the State of Bihar." Sub-section (3) of s. 1 provides that that section shall come into force at once and the remaining provisions of the Act or any of them shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification, appoint and that different dates may be appointed for different provisions and for different areas. Section 2 is the definition section and the following definitions are to be noted:
(a) " Animal " means-
(i)bull, bullock, cow, heifer, buffalo, calf, sheep, goat and-any other ruminating animal;
(ii) poultry; and
(iii) elephant, horse, camel, ass, mule, dog, swine and such other domesticated animals as may be specified in this behalf by the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette;
(c) " bull " means an uncastrated male above the age of three years belonging to the species of bovine cattle ;
(d) " bullock " means a castrated male above the age of three years belonging to the species specified in clause
(e)" calf " means a female or a castrated or uncastrated male, of the age of three years and below belonging to the species specified in clause (c);
(g) " cow " means a female above the age of three years belonging to the species specified in clause (e) ; Section 3, which is the principal section for the purposes of the Bihar Petitions, runs as follows:
" 3. Prohibition of slaughter of cow, calf, bull or bullock. Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force or in any usage or custom to the contrary, no person shall slaughter a cow, the calf of a cow, a bull or a bullock; Provided that the State Government may, by general or special order and subject to such conditions as it may think fit to impose, allow the slaughter of any such animal for any medicinal or research purposes."
Section 4 provides for penalties for contravention or attempted contravention or abetment of contravention of any of the provisions of s. 3. The remaining provision; in the following three chapters are not material for our present purpose. It will be noticed that the words " bull ", " bullock ", " calf " and " cow" have been defined in cls.
(c), (d), (e) and (g) of s. 2 as belonging to the species of bovine cattle. The expression " species of bovine cattle " is wide enough to in-elude and does in ordinary parlance include buffaloes,(male, or female adults or calves). Therefore, the corresponding categories of buffaloes, namely, buffalo bulls, buffalo bullocks, buffalo calves and she-buffaloes must be taken as included in the four defined categories of the species of bovine cattle and as such within the prohibition embodied in s. 3 of the Act. It is to be, noted, however, that the allegations in the petitions and the affidavits in opposition proceed on the assumption that buffaloes (male or female adults or calves) were not within the protection of the section and, indeed, when the attention of learned counsel for the petitioners was drawn to the reference to the " species of bovine cattle " in each of the four definitions, they still made an attempt to support the latter view by suggesting that if buffaloes were to be included within the words defined in cls. (c), (d), (e) and (g), then there was no necessity for specifying it separately in the definition of " animal " in el. (a). This argument does not appear to us to be sound at all, for, then, on a parity of reasoning it was wholly unnecessary to specify heifer " in the definition of " animal ". If heifer is not to be included in the definition of cow " because heifer " is separately enumerated in 'the definition of animal " then an astounding result will follow, namely, that the operative part of s. 3 will not prohibit the slaughter of " heifer " at all-a result which obviously could not possibly have been intended. The obvious reason for the enumeration of the different categories of animals in the definition of " animal " must have been to provide a word of wide import so that all those sections where the wider word " animal " is used may apply to the different kinds of animals included- within that term. If the intention of the Bihar legislature was to exclude buffaloes (male or female adults or calves) from the protection of s. 3 then it must be said that it has failed to fulfil its intention.
The U. P. Act is intituled " An Act to prohibit the slaughter of COW and its progeny in Uttar Pradesh." The preamble to the Act recites the expediency " to prohibit and prevent the slaughter of cow and its progeny in Uttar Pradesh". Although the 17. P. Act has been made under entry 15 in List 11 and presumably pursuant to the directives contained in Art. 48 nowhere in the Act is there any express reference whatever to the " preservation, protection or improvement of stock." Section 2 defines " beef " as meaning the flesh of cow but does not include the flesh of cow contained in sealed containers and imported as such in Uttar Pradesh. Clause (b) is very important, for it defines " cow " as including a bull, bullock, heifer, or calf. Section 3, which is the operative section runs thus:
3. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any usage or custom to the contrary, no person shall slaughter or cause to be slaughtered or offer or cause to be offered for slaughter any cow in any place in Uttar Pradesh."
Two exceptions are made by s. 4 in respect of cows suffering from contagious or infectious disease or which is subjected to experimentation in the interest of medical or public health research. Section 5 prohibits the sale or transport of beef or beef products in any form except for medicinal purposes and subject to' the provisions of the exception therein mentioned. Section 6, on which counsel for the State relies, provides for the establishment, by the State Government or by any local authority wherever so directed by the State Government, of institutions as may be necessary for taking care of uneconomic cows. Under s. 7 the State Government may levy such charges or fees, as may be prescribed for keeping uneconomic cows in the institutions. Section 8 provides for punishment for contravention of the provisions of ss. 3, 4 and 5. Section 9 makes the offences created by the Act cognisable and non-bailable. Section 10 gives power to the State Government to make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of the Act. It should be noted that the U. P. Act protects the " cow ", which, according to the definition, includes only bulls, bullocks, heifer and calves. There is no reference to the species of bovine cattle and, therefore, the buffaloes (male or female adults or calves) are completely outside the protection of this Act.
The C. P. and Berar Act of 1949 was originally intituled " An Act to provide for preservation of certain animals by controlling the slaughter thereof," and the preamble recited that it was " expedient to provide for the preservation of certain animals by controlling the slaughter thereof." ,Animal " was defined in s. 2 as meaning an animal specified in the schedule. The schedule specified the following categories of animals, namely, (1) bulls, (2) bullocks, (3) cows, (4) calves, (5) male and female buffaloes and (6) buffalo calves. Section 4 originally prohibited the slaughter of an " animal " without certificate. There was then no total ban on the slaughter of any animal as defined. ,In 1951, the C. P. and Berar Animal Preservation Act, 1949, was amended by the Madhya Pradesh Act XXIII of 1951. By this amending Act the words, " by prohibiting or " were added to the long title and the preamble before the word " controlling " and a new clause was added to s. 2 as el. (i)
(a) defining " cow " as including a female calf of a cow and sub-s. 1 of s. 4 was amended so as to read as follows: "(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the. time being in force or in any usage to the contrary, no person-
(a) shall slaughter a cow; or
(b) shall slaughter any other animal unless he has obtained in respect of such other animal a certificate in writing signed by the executive authority and the veterinary officer for the area in which the animal is to be slaughtered that the animal is fit for slaughter."
Thus a total ban was imposed on the slaughter of cows and female calf of a cow and the male calf of a cow, bull, bullock, buffalo (male or female adult or calf) could be slaughtered on obtaining a certificate. The Act was further amended in 1956 by Act X of 1956 substituting for the amended definition of " cow " introduced by the amending Act of 1951 as cl. (1)(a) of s. 2 of the C. P. and Berar Animal Preservation Act, 1949, a new definition of " cow " as including a male or female calf of a cow, bull, bullock or heifer and a new schedule specifying only (1) cows, (2) male and female buffaloes and (3) buffalo calves was substituted for the original schedule to the Act. Shortly put the position in Madhya Pradesh has been this: while under the C. P. and Berar Animal Preservation Act, 1949, as it originally stood, the slaughter of all categories of animals mentioned in the original schedule were only controlled by the requirement of a certificate from the appropriate authority before the actual slaughter, by the amending Act XXIII of 1951, a total ban was imposed on the slaughter of " cows " which was then defined as including only a female calf of a cow and the slaughter of all other categories of animals coming within the original schedule was controlled and finally after the amending Act X of 1956, there is now a total ban on the slaughter of " cows " which by the new definition includes a male or female calf of a cow, bull, bullock or heifer so that the male and female buffaloes and buffalo calves (male and female) can still be slaughtered but on certificate issued by the proper authorities mentioned in the Act. The Madhya Pradesh Act X of 1956, amending the C. P. and Berar Animal peservation Act, 1949, received the assent of the Governor on May 18, 1956. The C. P. and Berar Animal Preservation Act, 1949, as amended up to 1956, is hereinafter referred to as the Madhya Pradesh Act.' To sum up, under the Bihar Act there is in the State of Bihar a total ban on slaughter of all categories of animals of the species of bovine cattle. In Uttar Pradesh there is, under the If. P. Act, a total ban on the slaughter of cows and her progeny which include bulls, bullocks, heifer or calves. The buffaloes (male or female adults or calves) are completely outside the protection of the Act. In the present Madhya Pradesh and the districts which formerly formed part of Madhya Pradesh but have since been transferred to the State of Bombay and where the Madhya Pradesh law including the Madhya Pradesh Act still applies, there is a total ban on the slaughter of cow, male or female calves of a cow, bulls, bullocks, or heifers and the slaughter of buffaloes (male or female adults or calves) are controlled in that their slaughter is permitted under certificate granted by the proper authorities mentioned in the Act. No exception has been made in any of these three Acts permitting slaughter of cattle even for bona fide religious purposes such as has been made, say, in the Bombay Animal Preservation Act, 1948 (Bom. LXXXI of 1948). As already stated the petitioners, who are citizens of India, and Muslims by religion, mostly belong to the Quraishi community and are generally engaged in the butchers' trade and its subsidiary undertakings such as supply of hides, tannery, glue making, gut making and blood de-hydrating, Those, who carry on the butchers trade, are mostly. Kasais who, the petitioners say kill only cattle but not ship or goat which are slaughtered by other persons known as Chicks. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners challenge the, constitutional validity of the Acts respectively applicable to them on three grounds, namely, that they offend the fundamental rights guaranteed to them by Arts. 14 ' 19(1)(g) and 25. Learned counsel appearing for the respondent States, of course, seek to support their respective enactments by controverting the reasons advanced by learned counsel for the petitioners. Bharat Go-Sevak Samaj, All India AntiCow-Slaughter Movement Committee, Sarvadeshik Arya pratinidhi Sabha and M. P. Gorakshan Sangh put in petitions for leave to intervene in these proceedings. Under Order XLI, rule 2, of' the Supreme Court Rules intervention is permitted only to the Attorney- General of India or the Advocates General for the States. There is no other express provision for permitting a third party to intervene in the proceedings before this Court. In practice, however, this Court, in exercise of its inherent powers, allows a third party to intervene when such third party is a party to some proceedings in this Court or in the High Courts where the same, or similar questions are in issue, for the decision of this Court will conclude the case of that party. In the present case, however, the peti- tioners for intervention are not parties to any proceedings and we did not think it right to permit them formally to intervene in these proceedings; but in view of the importance of the questions involved in these proceedings we have heard Pandit Thakurdas Bhargava, who was instructed by one of these petitioners for intervention, as amicus curiae. We are deeply indebted to all learned counsel appealing for the parties and to Pandit Thakurdas Bhargava for the valuable assistance they have given us.
Before we actually take tip and deal with the alleged infraction of the petitioners' fundamental rights, it is necessary to dispose of a preliminary question raised by Pandit Thakurdas Bhargava. It will be recalled that the impugned Acts were made by the States in discharge of the obligations laid on them by Art. 48 to endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry and in particular to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of certain specified animals. These directive principles, it is true, are not enforceable by any court of law but nevertheless they are fundamental in the governance of the country and it is the duty of the State to give effect to them. These laws having thus been made in discharge of that fundamental obligation imposed on the State, the fundamental rights conferred on the citizens and others by Chapter III of the Constitution must be regarded as subordinate to these laws. The directive principles, says learned counsel, are equally, if not more, fundamental and must prevail. We are unable to accept this argunent as sound. Article 13(2) expressly says that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by Chapter III of our Constitution which enshrines the fundamental rights. The directive principles cannot over-ride this categorical restriction imposed on the legislative power of the State. A harmonious interpretation has to be placed upon the Constitution and so interpreted it means that the State should certainly implement the directive principles but it must do so in such a way that its laws do not take away or abridge the fundamental rights, for otherwise the protecting provisions of Chapter III will be " a mere rope of sand ". As this Court has said in the State of Madras v. Smt. Champakam Dorairajan (1) , "The directive principles of State policy have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the Chapter on Fundamental Rights".
Coming now to the arguments as to the violation of 4 the petitioners' fundamental rights, it will be convenient to take up first the complaint founded on Art. 25(1). That article runs as follows:
" Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion". (1)  S.C.R. 525 531-
After referring to the provisions of el. (2) which lays down certain exceptions which are not material for our present purpose this Court has, in Ratilal Panachand Gandhi v. The State of Bombay (1) explained the meaning and scope of this article thus:
" Thus, subject to the restrictions which this article imposes, every person has a fundamental right under our Constitution not merely to entertain such religious belief as may be approved of by his judgment or conscience but to exhibit hisbelief and ideas in such overt acts as are enjoinedor sanctioned by his religion and further to propagatehis religious views for the edification of others. Itis immaterial also whether the propagation is made by a person in his individual capacity or on behalf of any church or institution. The free exercise of religion by which is meant the performance of outward acts in pursuance of relgious belief, is, as stated above, subject to State regulation imposed to secure order, public health and morals of the people. "
What then, we inquire, are the materials placed before us to substantiate the claim that the sacrifice of a cow is enjoined or sanctioned by Islam ? The materials before us are extremely meagre and it is surprising that on a matter of this description the allegations in the petition should be so vague. In the Bihar Petition No. 58 of 1956 are set out the following bald allegations:
That the petitioners further respectfully submit that the said impugned section also violates the fundamental rights of the petitioners guaranteed tinder Article 25 of the Constitution in-as-much as on the occasion of their Bakr Id Day, it is the religious practice of the petitioners' community to sacrifice a cow on the said occasion. The poor members of the community usually sacrifice one cow for every 7 members whereas it would require one sheep or one goat for each member which would entail considerably more expense. As a result of the total ban imposed by the impugned section the petitioners would not even be allowed to make the said sacrifice which is a practice (1)  S.C.R. 1055, 1062-1063.
and custom in their religion, enjoined upon them by 'the Holy Quran, and practised by all Muslims from time immemorial and recognised as such in India. " The allegations in the other petitions are similar. ,These are met by an equally bald denial in para. 21 of the affidavit in opposition. No affidavit has been filed by any person specially competent to expound the relevant tenets of Islam. 'No reference 'is made in the petition to any particular Surah of the Holy Quran which, in terms, requires the sacrifice of a cow. All that was placed before us during the argument were Surah XXII, Verses 28 and 33, and Surah XXII,. What the Holy book enjoins is that people should pray unto the Lord and make sacrifice. We have no affidavit before us by any Maulana explaining the implications of those Verses or throwing any light on this problem. We, however, find it laid down in Hamilton's translation of Hedaya Book XLIII at p. 592 that it is the duty of every free Mussulman, arrived at the age of maturity, to offer a sacrifice on the Yd Kirban, or festival of the sacrifice, provided he be then possessed of Nisab and be not a traveller. The sacrifice established for one person is a goat and that for seven a cow or a camel. It is therefore, optional for a Muslim to sacrifice a goat for one person or a cow or a camel for seven persons. It does not appear to be obligatory that a person must sacrifice a cow. The very fact of an option seems to run counter to the notion of an obligatory duty. It is, however, pointed out that a person with six other members of his family may afford to sacrifice a cow but may not be able to afford to sacrifice seven goats. So there may be an economic compulsion although there is no religious compulsion. It is also pointed out that from time immemorial the Indian Mussalmans have been sacrificing cows and this practice, if not enjoined, is certainly sanctioned by, their religion and it amounts to their practice of religion protected by Art.
25. While the petitioners claim that the sacrifice of a cow is essential, the State denies the obligatory nature of the religious practice. The fact, emphasised by the respondents, cannot be disputed, namely, that many Mussalmans do not sacrifice a cow on the Bakr Id Day. It is part of the known history of India that the Moghul Emperor Babar saw the wisdom of prohibiting the slaughter of cows as and by way of religious sacrifice and directed his son Humayun to follow this example. Similarly Emperors Akbar, Jehangir, and Ahmad Shah, it is said, prohibited cow slaughter. Nawab Hyder Ali of Mysore made cow slaughter an offence punishable with the cutting of the hands of the offenders. Three of the member of the Gosamvardhan Enquiry Committee set up by the Uttar Pradesh Government in 1953 were Muslims and concurred in the unanimous recommendation for total ban on slaughter of cows. We have, however, no material on the record before us which will enable us to say, in the face of the foregoing facts, that the sacrifice of a cow on that day is an obligatory overt act for a Mussalman to exhibit his religious belief and idea. In the premises, it is not possible for us to uphold this claim of the petitioners.
The next complaint is against the denial of the equal protection of the law. It is thus formulated: The petitioners are Muslims by religion and butchers (Kasais) by occupation and they carry on the trade of selling beef. The impugned Acts prejudicially affect only the Muslim Kasais who kill cattle but not others who kill goats and sheep and who sell goats' meat and mutton. It is, therefore, clear that only the Muslim Kasais, who slaughter only cattle but not sheep or goats, have been singled out for hostile and discriminatory treatment. Their further grievance is that the U. P. Act makes a distinction even between butchers who kill cattle and butchers who kill buffaloes and the Madhya Pradesh Act also makes a like discrimination in that slaughter of buffaloes is permitted, although under certificate, while slaughter of cows, bulls, bullocks and calves are totally prohibited. In the premises the petitioners contend that the law which permits such discrimination must be struck down as violative of the salutary provisions of Art. 14 of the Constitution.
The meaning, scope and effect of Art. 14, which is the equal protection clause in our Constitution, has been explained by this Court in a series of decisions in cases beginning with Chiranjitlal Choudhury v. The Union of India (1) and ending with the recent case of Ram Krishna Dalmia and others v. Sri Justice S. R.Tendolkar (2). It is now well established that while Art. 14 forbids class legislation it does not forbid reasonable classification for the purposes of legislation and that in order to pass the test of permissible classi- fication two conditions must be fulfilled, namely, (i) the classification must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped together from others left out of the group and (ii) such differentia must have a rational relation to the object sought to be achieved by the statute in question. The classification, it has been held, may be founded on different bases, namely, geographical, or according to objects or occupations or the like and what is necessary is that there must be a nexus between the basis of' classification and the object of the Act under consideration. The pronouncements of this Court further establish, amongst other things, that there is always a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of an enactment and that the burden is upon him, who attacks it, to show that there has been a clear violation of the constitutional principles. The courts, it is accepted, must presume that the legislature understands and correctly appreciates the needs of its own people, that its laws are directed to problems made manifest by experience and that its discriminations are based on adequate grounds. It must be borne in mind that the legislature is free to recognise degrees of harm and may confine its restrictions to those cases where the need is deemed to be the clearest and finally that in order to sustain the presumption of constitutionality the Court may take into consideration matters of common knowledge, matters of common report, the history of the times and may assume every state of facts which can be conceived existing at the time of legislation. We, therefore, proceed to examine (1)  S.C.R. 869. (2)  S.C.R. 279.
the impugned Acts in the light of the principles thus enunciated by this Court.
The impugned Acts, it may be recalled, have been made by the States in discharge of the obligations imposed on them by Art. 48. In order to implement the directive principles the respective Legislatures enacted the impugned Acts in exercise of the powers conferred on them by Art. 246 read with entry 15 in List II of the Seventh Schedule. It is, therefore, quite clear that the objects sought to be achieved by the impugned Acts are the preservation, protection and improvement of livestocks. Cows, bulls, bullocks and calves of cows are no doubt the most important cattle for the agricultural economy of this country. Female buffaloes yield a large quantity of milk and are, therefore, well looked after and do not need as much protection as cows yielding a small quantity of milk require. As draught cattle male buffaloes are not half as useful as bullocks. Sheep and goat give very little milk compared to the cows and the female buffaloes and have practically no utility as draught animals. These different categories of animals being susceptible of classification into separate groups on the basis of their usefulness to society, the butchers who kill each category may also be placed in distinct classes according to the effect produced on society by the carrying on of their respective occupations. Indeed the butchers, who kill cattle, according to the allegations of the petitioners themselves in their respective petitions, form a well defined class based on their occupation. That classification is based on an intelligible differentia which places them in a well defined class and distinguishes them from those who kill goats and sheep and this differentia has a close connection with the object sought to be achieved by the impugned Act, namely, the preservation, protection and improvement of our livestock. The attainment of these objectives may well necessitate that the slaughterers of cattle should be dealt with more stringently than the slaughterers of, say, goats and sheep. The impugned Acts, therefore, have adopted a classification on sound and intelligible basis and can quite clearly stand the test laid down in the decisions of this Court. Whatever objections there may be against the validity of the impugned Acts the -denial of equal protection of the laws does not, prima facie, appear to us to be one of them. In any case, bearing in mind the presumption of constitutionality attaching to all enactments founded on the recognition by the court of the fact that the legislature correctly appreciates the needs of its own people there appears to be no escape from the conclusion that the petitioners have not discharged the onus that was on them and the challenge under Art. 14 cannot, therefore, prevail.
Learned counsel for the petitioners then take their final stand on Art. 19(1)(g). Immediately learned counsel for the respondents counter the charge by saying that Art. 19(1)(g) can hit only the law which purports to directly violate its provisions. The impugned Acts, we are reminded, have been made in implementation of the directive principles laid down in Art. 48 and are laws with respect to matters set forth in entry 15 of List II and it is emphasised that the sole purpose of these enactments is to secure the preservation, protection and improvement of stock and that its real aim is not to take away or abridge the rights guaranteed by Art. 19(1)(g). If at all, these enactments may only indirectly and incidentally affect those, rights but that circumstance cannot alter their real nature and purpose. Reliance is placed in support of this contention on the following observations of Kania C. J. in A. K. Gopalan v. The State (1).
" If there is a legislation directly attempting to control a citizen's freedom of speech or expression, or his right to assemble peaceably and without aims, etc., the question whether that legislation is saved by the relevant saving clause of article' 19 will arise. If, however, the legislation is not directly in respect of any of these subjects, but as a result of the operation of other legislation, for instance, for punitive or preventive detention, his right under any of these sub-clauses is abridged, the question of the application of article 19 does not arise. The true approach is only to consider the directness of the legislation and not what will (1)  S.C.R. 88, 101.
be the result of the detention otherwise valid, on the mode of the detenue's life. "
This part of the argument advanced on behalf of the respondents is further sought to be reinforced by the fact that the above observations of Kania C. J. had subsequently been adopted by this Court in Ram Singh v.The State of Delhi (1). Those observations of Kania C. J. should, in our opinion, be read in the context of the facts of those cases. It should be remembered that both these cases arose out of orders made under the Preventive Detention Act, 1950. Article 22, which is to be found in Chapter III of the Constitution, recognises the necessity for preventive detention, however odious it may be. The purpose of the Act under which the detention orders had been made in those cases, was to prevent the persons concerned from acting in any manner prejudicial to one or other of the three impor- tant matters specified therein. The effect of the execution of the orders was to deprive those persons of their liberty according to procedure established by law. Preventive detention, like punitive detention, having taken away the personal liberty of those persons they could not claim the rights under Art. 19(1)(a) to (e) and (g) for those were the rights of free men. It was, therefore, considered that the primary and direct object of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, being, inter alia, to secure the security of the State and maintenance of law and order, its impact on the fundamental rights was indirect and, therefore, the Act could not be challenged for breach of the fundamental rights under Art. 19(1). The position in the cases now before us is quite different. The last part of the directive principles embodied in Art. 48 require the State to take steps for prohibiting the slaughter of the specified animals and this directive can only be carried out by prohibiting the petitioners and other butchers (Kasais) from. slaugh- tering them. There can be no mistake about the directness of these legislations vis-a-vis the petitioners and other butchers and the effect of these legislations on their rights is direct and instantaneous as soon as they are brought into force. The title of the U. P. Act (1) 1 S.C.R. 451, 456-457.
does not even attempt to conceal the directness of its impact on the butchers of Uttar Pradesh. The argument of learned counsel for the respondents on this point cannot be accepted and the question of the alleged violation of Art. 19(1)(g) has to be dealt with on merits.
The complaint of the petitioners under Art. 19 (1) (g) is that the impugned Acts, if enforced, will compel them at once to close down their business and will, in effect, amount to a complete denial of their right to carry oil their occupation, trade or business in spite of the mandatory provisions of Art. 19(1)(g). The objection is elaborated thus: The livelihood of a butcher of cattle depends on the existence of many factors. First he has to purchase the cattle which he will slaughter. The statistics will show that a large number of cattle are slaughtered for food every year. According to Table 11 on p. 24 of the Report on the Marketing of Cattle in India 18,93,000 heads of cattle and 6,09,000 buffaloes were slaughtered in the year 1948. Taking that 7 goats are the equivalent in flesh of cow or buffalo these butchers who slaughter 25,02,000 bovine cattle will have to find 7 times that number of goats or sheep, that is to say, they will have to have 1,75,14,000 extra goats and sheep per year. This it is said, is not available in -India. Then the butchers will have to find buyers for this enormous quantity of goats' meat or mutton the price of which, according to the figures given at p.12 of the Expert Committee'.-, Report, is very much higher than that of beef. Poorer people may afford to buy beef occasionally but goat-,' meat or mutton will be beyond their reach and consequently there will not be a market for sale of the meat of so many goats and sheep and the butchers will have to reduce the number of goats and sheep for purposes of slaughter and that will reduce their income to a negligible figure. Further, what will they do with the skins of so many goats, and sheep ? They will not have ready sale in the market as hides of cows and buffaloes have, for the latter are used in the manufacture of boots, shoes, suit cases, belts and other leather goods while the skins of goats and sheep will be useless for such purpose. The same considerations will apply to the guts. There is, therefore, no escape, say learned counsel for the petitioners from the inevitable conclusion that a total ban on the slaughter of all animals belonging to the species of bovine cattle will bring about a total prohibition of the business and occupation of the butchers (Kasais). Clause (6) of Art. 19, no doubt, protects the operation of the existing laws in so far as they impose and do not prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interest of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by Art. 19(1)(g). But restrictions, they say, cannot extend to total prohibition and reference is made to the observations to be found in some of the decisions of this Court. The contention is that the State may regulate but cannot annihilate a business which a citizen has a right to carry on.