Cow Slaughter Act being misused against the innocent, says Allahabad high court

Updated on Oct 26, 2020 05:22 PM IST

The concern was raised by the single-judge bench of justice Siddharth while hearing the bail application of one Rahmu alias Rahmuddin, accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef. The bench later granted bail to the petitioner

Representational Image.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Hindustan Times, Prayagraj | ByJitendra Sarin

While expressing concern over the misuse of the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act for implicating innocent persons, the Allahabad high court on Monday said there was a need to take care of old cows if the Act was to be implemented in the letter and spirit.

The concern was raised by the single-judge bench of justice Siddharth while hearing the bail application of one Rahmu alias Rahmuddin, accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef. The bench later granted bail to the petitioner who had been in jail since August 5, 2020.

The petitioner’s plea was that there were no specific allegations against him in the FIR and that he was not arrested from the place of incident. He further claimed that no exercise was done by police to check whether the meat recovered was beef or not.

After hearing the parties concerned, the court observed, “The 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 analysed by the Forensic Laboratory. In most of the cases, the meat is not sent for analysis. Accused persons continue to remain in jail for an offence that may not have been committed at all.”

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Raising the larger issue of abandonment of old cows by their owners or by cow shelter homes, the court said, “Goshalas do not accept non-milking cows or old cows and they are left to wander on the roads. In rural areas, cattle owners who are unable to feed their livestock 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 crops.”

“Whether cows are on roads or on fields, their abandonment affects the society in a big way. Some way out has to be found to keep them either in the cow shelters or with the owners, if UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act is to be implemented in letter and spirit,” said the court.

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