In order to make Madhya Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act 2004 more stringent, the state assembly on Thursday amended the existing law by raising the quantum of punishment to be awarded under it.
As per the amendment, the punishment for cow slaughter will be minimum one year and maximum seven years along with the fine of Rs 5,000. Earlier, the punishment for the offence was three years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
Similarly, for the illegal transportation of cow, the minimum punishment has been increased to six months with a fine of Rs 5,000. State Animal Husbandry Minister Ajay Vishnoi said the Madhya Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter (Amendment) Bill 2010 was brought to plug the loopholes in the existing act.
Under Prohibition Act of 2004, the accused used to get away by paying fines. Now the guilty will have to face imprisonment as well as fine, he told the house.
The amendment also shifts the burden to prove innocence on the accused, he added. After the act came into being in 2004, cow population in the state has registered an increase of 15 per cent between 2004 and 2007, the minister said.
He said the government was providing Rs 15 crore yearly to the NGOs running the cow shelters across the state. Before the amendments were passed, the ruling party member Prem Narayan Thakur said there was a need to ensure that the NGOs running cow shelters use the aid provided to them in the right manner.