UP’s cow slaughter act being misused against innocent persons: HC

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Monday expressed concern over frequent misuse of the provisions of Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, for implicating innocent persons.

While hearing the bail application of one Rahmuddin, accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef under Sections 3, 5 and 8 of the said Act, the Single Bench of Justice Siddharth observed,

“Act is being misused against innocent persons. Whenever any meat is recovered, it is normally shown as cow meat (beef) without getting it examined or analyzed by the Forensic Laboratory.

In most of the cases, meat is not sent for analysis. Accused persons continue in jail for an offence that may not have been committed at all and which is triable by Magistrate Ist Class, having maximum sentence upto 7 years.”

The remarks were made after the Bench was informed that the accused-Applicant had been in jail for over a month even when allegedly, there is no allegation against him in the FIR. It was also alleged that the Applicant was not arrested from the spot.

Thus, considering the material on record, the Court allowed the Applicant’s bail plea on his furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each of the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned, and subject to other bail conditions, as prescribed.

The High Court observed that in terms of the larger mandate of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and in accordance with the Supreme Court’s verdict in Dataram Singh v. State of UP & Anr., (2018) 3 SCC 22, a case for bail is made out.

Before parting, the High Court also made significant remarks with respect to the menace of abandoned cattle and stray cows in the State. It observed,

“Whenever cows are shown to be recovered, no proper recovery memo is prepared and one does not know where cows go after recovery. Goshalas do not accept the non-milching cows or old cows and they are left to wander on the roads.

Similarly, owner of the cows after milking, leave the cows to roam on roads, to drink drainage/sewer water and eat garbage, polythene, etc. Moreover, cows and cattle on the road are menace to the traffic and number of deaths have been reported due to them.

In the rural areas cattle owners who are unable to feed their live stock, abandon them. They cannot be transported outside the State for fear of locals and police. There are no pastures now. Thus, these animals wander here and there destroying the crops.”

“Earlier, farmers were afraid of ‘Neelgai’ (Vanroj an antelope) now they have to save their crops from the stray cows. Whether cows are on roads or on fields their abandonment adversely affects the society in a big way.

Some way out has to be found out to keep them either in the cow shelters or with the owners, if U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act is to be implemented in letter and spirit.”