In determining the restrictions imposed on the fundamental rights purported to be infringed (Article 19 (1) (g) & Article 25), the Court applied the test of reasonableness by following the decision in State of Madra v. I. G. Row  S.C.R. 597.
Accordingly, it was stated that in the case of ban of slaughtering cattle where the cattle were of a class of economic benefit such as milk producing there would a reasonable restriction based on the interests of general public. However, a total ban of slaughter, which would include ‘useless cattle’ cannot be justified to be in the interest of general public in the application of the test of reasonableness.
The Court highlighted that the directive principles of State policy set out in Part IV of the Constitution are considered as subsidiary to the funadamental rights in Part III of the Constitution. And thereby in this regard the Court followed the decision in the case of State of Madras v. Smt.Champakam Dorairajan,  S.C.R. 525. The Court went on to state that 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.
 AIR 731  SCR 629
The petitioners were the members of the Muslim Qureshi Community who were mainly engaged in the butchers’ trade. The petitioners had this occupation as an occupation which was carried from ages in their tradition. According to their religion this is considered to be valid, and cattle slaughter is basically done in order to prosper trade and occupation. Dealing with the facts from the other side the religion which is majorly followed in India is Hinduism, it considers cows as pious animals believing that they have auspicious presence of God. Henceforth animals are considered essential as they provide milk and many more things and thus humans should be thankful to them on morality basis. The above given fact prohibits the humans to slaughter cattle as it is considered to be immoral on the basis of humanitarian grounds.
Mohd Hanif Qureshi filed petition in 1958 in the Supreme Court regarding infringement of his fundamental rights by prohibiting him from cow slaughter in Bihar as per the Bihar laws regarding animals.
The issues which were raised are as follows-
Article 19 (1) (g) relates to the Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc;
(1) All citizens shall have the right-
(g) To practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
Article 25 relates to the Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
(1) 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, practice and propagate any religion
(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law
(a) Regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
(b) Providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus
Explanation I the wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion
Explanation II In sub clause (b) of clause reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jain or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be constructed accordingly.
As such the Court held that restrictions on the slaughter of cattle did not infringe on the petitioners’ freedom to practice their religion under article 25 since it had not been established that the sacrifice of cows on the religious holiday of Bakra-Eid is of an obligatory or essential part of the Islamic religion as opposed to being optional.
The Court found that the “country is in short supply of mulch cattle, breeding bulls and working bullocks” and therefore 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 to impose in the interests of the general public.
The Court also held that “a total ban on the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves of cows and calves of she-buffaloes, male and female” is reasonable and in “consonance with the directive principles laid down in Art. 48.”
However, the Court held that 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.” Therefore, the Court held that a total ban on the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and she-buffaloes
after they had ceased to be useful was invalid under the Constitution.
The Court also noted that though the constitutional issue before the Court could not be decided on the mere grounds of the sentiment of the Hindu community, it nevertheless, “has to be taken into consideration, though only as one of many elements, in arriving at a judicial verdict as to the reasonableness of the restrictions.”
The question as to when a she-buffalo, breeding bull or working bullock (cattle and buffalo) ceases to be useful and becomes useless and unserviceable is a matter for legislative determination. There is no provision in the Bihar Act in that behalf. Nor has our attention been drawn to any rule which may throw any light on the point. It is, therefore, not possible to apply the doctrine of severability and uphold the ban on the slaughter of she- buffaloes, breeding bulls and working bullocks (cattle and buffalo) which are useful as milch or breeding or working animals and strike down the ban on the slaughter of those which are useless.
The entire provision banning the slaughter of she-buffaloes, breeding bulls, and working bullocks (cattle and buffalo) has, therefore, to be struck down. The result is that we uphold and declare that the Bihar Act in so far as it prohibits the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves of cows and calves of buffaloes, male and female, is constitutionally valid and we hold that, in so far as it totally prohibits the slaughter of she- buffaloes, breeding bulls and working bullocks (cattle and buffalo), without prescribing any test or requirement as to their age or usefulness, it infringes the rights of the petitioners under Art. 19 (1) (g) and is to that extent void.
As regards the U. P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 the Court upheld and declared that it is constitutionally valid in so far as it prohibits the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves of cows, male and female, but we hold that in so far as it purports to totally prohibit the slaughter of breeding bulls and working bullocks without prescribing any test or requirement as to their age or usefulness, it offends against Art. 19 (1) (g) and is to that extent void.
As regards the Madhya Pradesh Act we likewise is declared that it is constitutionally valid in so far as it prohibits the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves of cows, male and female, but that it is void in so far as it totally prohibits the slaughter of breeding bulls and working- bullocks without prescribing any test or requirement as to their age or usefulness. The Court also held that the Act is valid in so far as it regulates the slaughter of other animals under certificates granted by the authorities mentioned therein.
Thereby, the Court directed the respondent States not to enforce their respective Acts in so far as they have just been declared void. The parties will bear and pay their own costs of these applications.
Petitions partly allowed.