Transportation of cows not an offence: Allahabad HC
Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has said that mere transportation of cows within the state is not a violation of the provisions of the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.
The court, on Thursday, set aside an order passed by Varanasi District Magistrate (DM) to seize a vehicle on the charge that it was carrying animals for the purpose of slaughter without a valid permission.
Allowing a petition filed by one Mohammad Shakib, Justice Mohammad Aslam further held that no permit is required to transport cows and its progeny within the state.
A truck was caught by the police and seized in August 2021 on the grounds of illegally carrying cows without any legal authority and an FIR was lodged under the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act and Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act.
The owner of the truck moved an application for the release of the truck before the DM which was rejected.
Thereafter, he filed a criminal revision which was also rejected.
He then moved the high court, challenging the DM’s order as well as the revisional court’s order.
Opposing his plea, the state counsel submitted that a cow and its progeny cannot be transported within Uttar Pradesh without a permit as per section 5A of the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act and regulation on the transport of the bovine.
He also mentioned other subsequently added provisions, which deal with the seizure of the cow and transport medium by which the cow and its progeny is transported in violation of the provisions of this Act and under the relevant rules.
“Hence, it can be confiscated and seized by law enforcement officers,” he said.
The court took into account the earlier high court order in the case of Kailash Yadav and Others vs. State of UP & others, 2008(10) ADJ 623, wherein it was held that no permit is required for transportation of cows or its progeny within Uttar Pradesh.
Therefore, the court held that it cannot be said that the seized vehicle in question was used in violation of Section 5A (1) to (11) or any provisions of the Cow Slaughter Act, and therefore, police have no power or jurisdiction to seize or confiscate the vehicle in question.
The court said that the Varanasi district magistrate had passed the impugned confiscation order dated August 18, 2021 in contravention of the law, as no permit was required to transport cow and its progeny within the state of Uttar Pradesh.
In this backdrop, the court held that the order of the Varanasi DM was without jurisdiction and the same was set aside.