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A television journalist sets his camera inside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee


NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Supreme Court suspended on Tuesday a government order that had banned the trade of cattle for slaughter, giving relief to the multi-billion dollar beef and leather industries that employ millions of poor workers.

In the latest blow to the meat and leather sectors, mostly run by Muslims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in May decreed that animal markets could only trade cattle for agricultural purposes, such as ploughing and dairy production.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar said the livelihoods of people cannot be subjected to uncertainties, television networks said.

(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Mayank Bhardwaj)