Pehlu Khan lynching: HC quashes smuggling charges

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court here on Wednesday ordered quashing of the FIR lodged against Pehlu Khan, his two sons — Arif and Irshad, and the pickup driver Khan Mohammad, saying the documents proved that the cattle was purchased for dairy purpose and not for slaughtering.

An FIR was lodged in 2017 against them on charges of cow smuggling. It was challenged in the court.

According to advocate Kapil Gupta, who represented Khan, the FIR and the charge-sheet against Pehlu Khan, his sons and the driver were quashed by the court of Justice Pankaj Bhandari as it amounted to abuse of the process of law. FIR and the charge-sheet failed to furnish the basic ingredients of offence, he added. It could not be proved that the cattle was being transferred for slaughtering.

They were milch cow and the accused had municipal corporation fee receipt. Hence, the court believed the FIR and the charge-sheet were instances of abuse of power of law, he said.

“Even though the state government had appealed for further investigation, the court believed it (further probe) also amounts to abuse of process of law,” said Gupta.

He refused to say if the filing of FIR was part of a conspiracy.

Meanwhile, advocate Kasim Khan, who also represented Pehlu with Gupta, said, in 2017, Pehlu was going to Tapukheda after buying a milch cow from Jaipur. He had all the proofs from the Jaipur Municipal Corporation regarding the purchase.

But the police, under the government pressure, filed a fake charge-sheet. Now, the court after weighing each and every fact quashed the FIR number 253/17 filed under the Rajasthan Bovine Act against Pehlu and his family, he said.

55-year-old Khan, a native of Nuh in Haryana, was allegedly lynched on the suspicion by a mob of “gau rakshaks” near Behror in Rajasthan on the Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1, 2017, accusing him and his and his two sons, Irshad (25) and Arif (22) of smuggling cattle.