Haryana empowers cops to seize vehicles smuggling cows, beef

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (Express file photo)

Haryana government Tuesday decided to make its cow protection Act more stringent by empowering police officers to seize and inspect vehicles allegedly used for smuggling of cattle or beef. Earlier, these powers were with Sub-Divisional Magistrate-rank officers and above.

Haryana Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Tuesday amended the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015. The new Bill shall be called the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to make it more strict and practical, a state government spokesperson said.

The amendment reads: …Any police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector or any person authorised in this behalf by the government…may enter, stop and search any vehicle used or intended to be used for the export of cows or beef . He may seize cow or beef in respect of which he suspects that any provision of this Act has been, is being or is about to be contravened, along with the vehicle in which such cow or beef is found…

Provided that before ordering confiscation of the said vehicle, a reasonable opportunity of being heard will be afforded to the owner of the said vehicle, the amendment says.

It adds that the police officer in the rank of Sub Inspector and above will also have powers to enter and search any premises used or intended to be used for slaughter of cow and seize cow or beef and collect evidence from the spot including instruments and documents used or intended to be used regarding activities related to slaughter and export of cow or beef…