Is Magistrate empowered to pass order for disposal of property under CrPC when vehicle is seized under U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act? All HC examines

Allahabad High Court: Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava, J., held that the Magistrate is denuded of his power to pass any order under Sections 451, 452 and 457 CrPC for release of a vehicle seized for alleged violation of provisions of the U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.

Instant application was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to set aside the decision of Additional Sessions Judge passed in case under Sections 3/5-A/8 of the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960.

An FIR was lodged under the above-stated sections, the vehicle stated to be carrying the animals was seized under Section 5-A of the PCSA and the applicant who claimed to be the owner of the vehicle in question, filed an application before the court of ACJM-I, Ballia, seeking release of the vehicle, which was rejected.

Analysis, Law and Decision

The Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 is an Act to prevent the slaughter of cows and their progeny in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Section 5-A of the PCSA would indicate that the transportation of cow, etc., is regulated in terms thereof. Sub-section (1) of Section 5-A contains a clear prohibition on transportation of any cow or bull or bullock, the slaughter whereof in any place in Uttar Pradesh is punishable under the Act, from any place within the State to any place outside the State, except under a permit to be issued by an officer authorised by the State Government in this behalf by notified order and except in accordance with the terms and conditions of such permit. Sub-section (4) mandates that the form of permit, the form of application therefor and the procedure for disposal of such application shall be such as may be prescribed.

Confiscation and Seizure

PCSA is a “local law” within the meaning of Section 5 of the Code and in view thereof, the general provisions contained under Sections 451 of the Code with regard to custody and disposal of the property pending trial or the power for making an order for disposal of property at the conclusion of trial under Section 452 or the procedure under Section 457 would therefore, be subject to the powers exercisable under Section 5-A of the PCSA which makes a special provision with regard to confiscation and seizure of the vehicle used for transport in contravention of the provisions of the Act.

Bench held that the vehicle in question having been confiscated and seized in exercise of powers under Section 5-A of the PCSA, which was in the nature of a special Act and a local law under Section 5 of the Code, the same would clearly have the effect of denuding the magistrate his power to pass any order under Sections 451, 452 and 457 of the Code for release of the vehicle seized for alleged violation of the provisions of the Act.

Therefore, the application under Section 482 of the Code was dismissed. [Yas Mohammad v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine All 608, decided on 2-09-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Applicant:- Ramesh Kumar Chaurasia

Counsel for Opposite Party:- G.A.

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