The Allahabad High Court on Monday said the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act was being “misused against innocent persons”. A single-judge bench of the high court stated in its order that “whenever any meat is recovered, it is normally shown as cow meat (beef) without getting it examined or analysed by the forensic laboratory.”
Justice Siddharth was hearing the bail application of one Rahmuddin, accused of cow slaughter and sale of beef under sections 3, 5 and 8 of the said Act. The judge made the stinging remarks after finding that the accused had spent over a month in jail without any allegations mentioned against him.
Lambasting the police department, the judge said that whenever cows are recovered in such cases, no proper recovery memo is prepared and there is no laid down procedure on where the cows end up later.
“Gaushalas 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,” the judge said.
The judge said stray cows were becoming a menace on the roads, coming in the way of traffic and leading accidents and deaths. The judge also spoke about the fear of police and certain locals among people because of which cows cannot be transported outside the state.
The judge further said a way out should be found out to keep the cows either in designated shelters or be returned to their owners.
Earlier this year, the Uttar Pradesh government, in a statement tabled before the Assembly, said that 9,261 cattle had died in various shelters in the state in 2019 “due to natural causes”.
In the state’s budget for 2019-2020, the government had allocated no less than Rs 600 crore for building and maintaining cow shelters, apart from imposing a 2 per cent cess on purchase of beer and Indian Made Foreign Liquor to create a corpus for cow protection.
There are 5,000 temporary cow shelters housing nearly 3,00,000 cattle, in addition to 92 ‘kanha gaushalas’ run by state municipal bodies, housing nearly 21,000 cattle, in Uttar Pradesh.