UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act does not prohibit beef transport: HC

"In the entire Act or the rules, there exists no provision barring transportation of beef. The restriction placed under section 5A of the cow slaughter Act is only in respect of transportation of cow, bull or bullock, that too only from a place outside the state to any place within the state..." the court said.

Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has observed that the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act does not prohibit transportation of beef.

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The above observation was made by Justice Pankaj Bhatia while allowing a criminal revision filed by one Vaseem Ahmad, who had moved the court challenging an order of the Fatehpur district magistrate, confiscating his motorcycle on the allegation that it was used for transportation of beef.

In the order, the district magistrate had said he had received a report from the Fatehpur Superintendent of Police that the revisionist’s vehicle was implicated in transporting beef and further recorded that since the revisionist failed to provide convincing evidence contradicting the claim, the vehicle was liable to be confiscated under the anti-cow slaughter law.

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“The restrictions on transportation in terms of the Act and the rules framed thereunder are only applicable in respect of transportation of cow, bull or bullock, that too in any place in Uttar Pradesh from any place outside the state,” the court said on Monday after hearing the lawyers from both sides.

“In the entire Act or the rules, there exists no provision barring transportation of beef. The restriction placed under section 5A of the cow slaughter Act is only in respect of transportation of cow, bull or bullock, that too only from a place outside the state to any place within the state. There is no bar or restriction on transportation of beef even from any place outside the state to any place inside the state,” it observed.

“In the present case, the alleged transportation of beef on a vehicle (motorcycle) within two places in the state is neither prohibited nor even regulated and thus, the foundation for confiscation on the charge of transportation in violation of the provisions of this Act is prima facie not established,” the court said.

“I have no hesitation in holding that the power of confiscation has been exercised without any authority of law and on a misreading of section 5A(7) of the cow slaughter Act, and for the said reasons, the confiscation order cannot be sustained and is liable to be quashed,” it added.

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