The Allahabad High Court has made scathing observations on the misuse of the Uttar Pradesh Prevention Of Cow Slaughter Act 1955 against innocent persons in the state. The single judge Bench of Justice Siddharth said that it had become a common practice to describe the recovered meat as cow meat (beef) without getting it examined or analysed by a forensic laboratory.
According Livelaw, Justice Siddharth observed, “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.”
The Allahabad High Court said that ‘whenever cows are shown to be recovered, no proper recovery memo is prepared and one does not know where cows go after recovery.’ It said, “Goshalas (cow shelters) 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.”
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“Moreover, cows and cattle on the road are menace to the traffic and the number of deaths have been reported due to them. In the rural areas cattle owners who are unable to feed their livestock, abandon them,” the court added.
In September, a report by Indian Express said that the UP Police had invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against 139 people in the state with more than half (76) being for alleged cow slaughters. Of these, 13 were related to anti-CAA protests.
Justice Siddharth noted that cows could not be transported outside the state for fear of lynchings or reprisals from the police. He said, “There are no pastures now. Thus, these animals wander here and there destroying the crops. Now farmers have to save their crops from stray cows.”
He added, “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.”
The high court was hearing the bail application of one Rahmuddin, who’s accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef under Sections 3, 5 and 8 of the said Act, added the Livelaw report.