The Hon’ble. High Court of Allahabad vide order dated 19.10.2020, has observed that the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act of 1955 is frequently being misused against innocent people. Often times, the accused persons are being falsely imprisoned for offences that may not have been committed at all. These remarks were made while granting bail to a person accused of committing offences mentioned under Sections 3,5 and 8 of the U.P Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955.
It was observed that these offences are triable by a magistrate and the maximum punishment of 7 years imprisonment is awarded to a person who is found guilty under the provisions of the Act, which is when cow meat (beef) is recovered from persons accused therein. But more often than not, any kind of meat that is discovered is presumed to be cow meat (beef) before it could even be scrutinized and analyzed by the Forensic Laboratory. These practices are used against innocent persons who are being falsely implicated under the Act.
The accused persons continue to remain in jail for an offence that may not have been committed at all. Not only that, but the Court also highlighted the pathetic condition of the cows in the state. It was observed that whenever cows are shown to be recovered, no proper recovery memo is being prepared and the cows that were being recovered were later nowhere to be found. Most of the cows after being used for milking purposes were often abandoned. These animals later wander off, thereby destroying the crops. This has therefore left the farmers of the rural areas worried as to how to be able to save their crops from stray cows. It was said that irrespective of whether these cows are on roads or on fields, their abandonment adversely affects the society in a large manner.
The court reinstated that the object behind the implementation of the Act was to make the existing concerned laws robust and efficient. Therefore in light of the same, while enlarging the applicant on bail, certain conditions were imposed, directing the applicant inter alia to not tamper with the evidence; cooperate in the trial sincerely; not to indulge in any criminal activity and to be present before the trial Court on the fixed date, in case of absence to provide sufficient cause. A breach of any of the above conditions shall be a ground for cancellation of bail application, as per the Court.