Allahabad High Court: In the cow slaughter case, a bail application plea was filed, Vikram D. Chauhan, J. held that mere possession of live cow/bullock by itself cannot amount to committing, abetting, or attempting an offence under the U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 (‘UP Act’). Thus, the Court granted bail to the accused.
The accused submitted that he has been falsely implicated. There is no allegation of slaughter against the accused. The procedure for seizure as provided under the Criminal Procedure Code has not been followed. It is further submitted that the accused was not apprehended from the spot. Six cows have been recovered from one vehicle. There is no evidence linking him with the alleged crime. The two co-accused persons have already been enlarged on bail. The accused has no criminal history and is languishing in jail since 06-03-2023.
The Court said that no material has been shown by the State to demonstrate that the accused has slaughtered or cause to be slaughtered or offer or cause to be offered for slaughter a cow, bull or bullock in any place in Uttar Pradesh. The alleged act cannot be stated to come within the ambit of Section 2(d) of the UP Act. There is no independent witness of the recovery. Mere possession of live cow/bullock by itself cannot amount to committing, abetting, or attempting an offence under the said Act. Further, mere transportation of the cow from one place to another within the UP would not come within the ambit of Section 5 of U.P. Act and mere transport of cows within UP would not amount to committing, abetting or attempting to commit an offence under U.P. Act
It also stated that no fact, circumstance or material has been shown by the State to demonstrate the transportation of any cow, or bull or bullock, from any place within the State to any place outside the State by the accused. Further, no material has been shown demonstrating that any physical injury to any cow or its progeny to endanger their life, such as mutilating their body or transporting them.
The Court noted that there is no witness to substantiate that the accused has caused any physical injury to any cow or its progeny so as to endanger their life. No report of competent authority has been placed to show any physical injury was caused on the body of cow or bullock. Thus, the Court held that the accused is not guilty under the provisions of U.P. Act.
Moreover, the Court reiterated that the object of bail is to secure the attendance of the accused at the trial. Further, it said that no material particulars or circumstances suggestive of the accused fleeing from justice or creating other troubles in the shape of repeating offences or intimidating witnesses have been shown by the State. Thus, as the State has not shown any material or circumstances that the accused is not entitled to bail in the larger interests of the public or State, the Court granted bail to the accused.
[Kundan Yadav v State of UP, 2023 SCC OnLine All 233, Order dated 24-05-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Applicant:- Advocate Vishwa Nath Pandey;
Counsel for Opposite Party:- Government Advocate.