The Allahabad High Court on Monday, 26 October, expressed concern over the misuse of the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 “against innocent persons.”
The court questioned the credibility of the evidence submitted by the police in such cases. The single-judge bench of Justice Siddharth stated:
"“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, 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 up to 7 years.” "
Justice Siddharth was hearing the bail plea by Rahmuddin, who has been accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef under Sections 3, 5 and 8 of the said Act. Rahmuddin was arrested by the UP police in Shamli on 5 August.
Rahmuddin’s lawyer told the court that his client was not arrested from the spot, reported The Indian Express.
These remarks were made after Justice Siddharth was informed that the accused Rahmuddin had spent more than a month in jail without any allegations against him.
‘Cows Create Menace’: Justice Siddharth
While granting bail to the accused held under the Act, the court 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 non-milch cows or old cows and they are left to wander on the roads. Similarly, owners of the cows after milking, leave the cows to roam on roads, to drink drainage/sewer water and eat garbage, polythene, etc.”
Justice Siddharth further stated that cows create a menace to the traffic and deaths have been reported due to them.
He added that “they cannot be transported outside the state for fear of locals and police.”
As per the Uttar Pradesh government data, more than half (76) of the 139 arrests recorded in the state under the National Security Act (NSA) this year, till 19 August, were on charges of cow slaughter, reported The Indian Express.
The Indian Express report also states that the UP government data shows closure reports were filed in 32 cases after the police failed to gather evidence against the accused.
(With inputs from Live Law and Indian Express)
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