Article 48 of Indian Constitution and 48A of the Constitution

Article 48 of Indian Constitution talks about the agriculture and animal husbandry. It directs state to organise animal husbandry and prohibits slaughter of cows and calves.

Article 48 – Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry -The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Article 48 of Indian Constitution directs the State to take steps to organise animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and, in particular, to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and milch and draught cattle.

The directive 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 recommended by this part of the directive 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, from the very nature of the purpose for which it is obviously recommended, extend to cattle, which, though at one time were milch or draught cattle, have ceased to be such.

Judgement and Case laws related to Article 48

In State of Gujarat vMirzapur Moti Kureshz Kassab Jamat, the court, however, overruled this well established position and upheld total ban on the slaughter of cow and its progeny under this provision. Later it clarified that Article 48 did not require the state to impose a total ban on the slaughter of bovine cattle including cow and its progeny.

What is Article 48?


Article 48 directs the State to take steps to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. In particular, it should take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Article 48A of Indian Constitution

Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life. -The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

Article 48A requires the State to take steps to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country. In M. C. Mehta (II) v. Union of India, the Supreme Court. relying on Article 48A of Indian Constitution gave directions to the Central and the State Governments and various local bodies and Boards under the various statutes to take appropriate steps for the prevention and control of pollution of water.

Article 48

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