Allahabad High Court Judgement

Allahabad High Court Judgement

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JUDGEMENT HEADLINE : Carrying The Cow, Bull Or Bullock Within The State For Slaughtering Is No Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act.
JUDGEMENT TITLE : Kailash Yadav And Others Vs. State Of U.P. And Another On 17/11/2008 By Allahabad High Court
CASE NO : CRIMINAL REVISION NO. 131 OF 2005
CORAM : Hon'ble Vijay Kumar Verma,J.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

A.F.R.
RESERVED


Criminal Revision No. 131 Of 2005


Kailash Yadav And Others............ Revisionists

Versus

State Of U.P. And Another............ Opposite Parties


Hon'ble Vijay Kumar Verma, J.

"Whether Carrying The Cow, Bull Or Bullock From One Place To Another Place Within The State Of Uttar Pradesh For The Purpose Of Slaughtering Constitutes Any Offence Under The Uttar Pradesh Prevention Of Cow Slaughter Act 1955 (in Short, 'the Cow Slaughter Act')?" Is The Main Question That Falls For Consideration In This Revision, Which Has Been Preferred Against The Order Dated 04.01.2005 Passed By The Chief Judicial Magistrate Ghazipur.
2. By The Impugned Order, The Court Below Has Declined To Release The Bullocks Seized In Case Crime No. 1062 Of 2004 Under Section 3, 5-A, 8 Of Cow Slaughtering Act And Section 11 Of The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act (in Short, 'the Animals' Cruelty Act'), P.S. Nonahra, District Ghazipur.
3. The Facts Emerging From The Record Leading To The Filing Of This Revision Are That An FIR Was Lodged By S.I. S.Tiwari On 20.12.2004 At 10.00 A.m. At P.S. Nanahra (Ghazipur), Where A Case Under Section 3, 5-A And 8 Of Cow Slaughter Act And Section 11 Of Animals' Cruelty Act Was Registered At Crime No. 1062 Of 2004 Against (1) Radhey Shyam Yadav, (2) Subhash Navik, (3) Baladin Pasi, (4) Ramesh Yadav; And (5) Chottey Lal Yadav. Shorn Of Unnecessary Details, The Allegations Made In The FIR, In Brief, Are That On Getting Information From An Informer, S.I. S. Tiwari With The Help Of Other Police Personnels Arrested The Accused Named Above On 20.12.2004 At 6.15 A.m. Near Village Shankerpur Within The Limits Of P.S. Nanahra, District Ghazipur. The Accused Persons Were Carrying Fifteen Bullocks, Which Were Seized By The Police. It Is Alleged That The Bullocks Were Being Carried By The Accused To Bihar For The Purpose Of Slaughtering. The Revisionists Moved An Application On 24.12.2004 In The Court Of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghazipur For Release Of The Bullocks With The Averments That They Are The Owners Of Seized Bullocks, Which They Had Purchased For Agriculture Purpose From District Jaunpur And They Had Engaged Radhey Shyam Yadav, Subhash Navik, Baladin Pasi, Ramesh Yadav And Chottey Lal On Labour For Carrying The Bullocks, Which Were Seized By The Police When Its Demand Of Illegal Money Was Not Fulfilled And The Accused Persons Were Also Arrested. The Learned Chief Judicial Magistrate Ghazipur Vide Impugned Order Has Declined To Release The Bullocks In Favour Of The Revisionists Assuming That The Bullocks Were Being Carried To Bihar For The Purpose Of Slaughtering. Hence, This Revision.
4. When The Case Was Taken Up In The Revised List, The Counsel For The Revisionists Did Not Come. Hence, I Have Heard Arguments Of Learned AGA For The State. The Revision Is Being Decided On Merit After Going Through The Record.
5. It Was Contended By The Learned AGA That The Seized Bullocks Were Being Carried To Bihar For The Purpose Of Slaughtering By The Accused Persons Named In The FIR And Hence The Learned Court Below Did Not Commit Any Illegality In Declining To Release The Said Cattle In Favour Of The Revisionists.
6. Having Given My Best Of Consideration To The Submission Made By The Learned AGA, I Find No Force In The Said Contention. The Uttar Pradesh Prevention Of Cow Slaughter Act Was Enacted To Prohibit And Prevent The Slaughter Of Cow And Its Progeny In Uttar Pradesh. Slaughter Has Been Defined In Section 2 (d) Which Reads Thus:-
"Slaughter' Means Killing By Any Method Whatsoever And Includes Maiming And Inflicting Of Physical Injury Which In The Ordinary Course Will Cause Death."

7. Section 3 Of Cow Slaughter Act Lays Down That "no Person Shall Slaughter 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, Anything Contained In Any Other Law For The Time Being In Force Or Any Usage Or Custom, To The Contrary Notwithstanding."
8. Section 5-A Of Cow Slaughter Act Although Is Not Relevant For The Present Case, But It Will Be Useful To Have A Look On This Section Also, Which Read Thus:-
5-A Regulation On Transport Of Cow Etc-(1)
"No Person Shall Transport Or Offer For Transport Or Cause To Be Transported Any Cow, Or Bull Or Bullock, The Slaughter Whereof In Any Place In Uttar Pradesh Is Punishable Under This Act, From Any Place Within The State To Any Place Outside The State, Except Under A Permit 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."
9. The Contravention Of Section 3, 5 & 5-A Of Cow Slaughter Act Is Punishable Under Section 8 Which Reads Thus:-
"(1) Whoever Contravenes Or Abets The Contravention Of The Provisions Of Section 3, Section 5 Or Section 5-A Shall Be Punished With Imprisonment For A Term Which May Extend To Seven Years And With Fine Which May Extend To Ten Thousand Rupees.
(2) Whoever Attempts To Commit An Offence Punishable Under Sub Section (1) Shall Be Punished With Imprisonment For A Term Which May Extend To One-half Of The Longest Term Of Imprisonment Provided For That Offence And With Such Fine As Is Provided For The Offence."

10. As Mentioned Herein-above, The Allegations Made In The First Information Report Lodged At P.S. Nanahra On 20.12.2004, In Brief, Are That The Accused Radhey Shyam Yadav, Subhash Navik, Baladin Pasi, Ramesh Yadav And Chottey Lal Yadav Were Arrested By The Police Carrying Fifteen Bullocks For The Purpose Of Slaughtering. Having Regard To The Term 'Slaughter' As Defined In Section 2(d) Of Cow Slaughter Act And Provisions Of Section 3, Even If The Entire Version Of FIR Is Accepted To Be True, No Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act Would Be Made Out In This Case. Although Merely Due To Carrying The Bullocks By The Accused Persons Named In The FIR, It Can Not Be Presumed That They Were Carrying The Said Cattle For Slaughtering, But Even If It Is Assumed For The Sake Of Argument That The Accused Persons Were Carrying The Bullocks For The Purpose Of Slaughtering, Then Also No Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act Would Be Made Out In Present Case, Because All The Bullocks Were Healthy And Neither They Were Being Offered To Any Other Person For Slaughtering Nor Any Attempt For Slaughtering Was Being Made By The Accused Persons Carrying Them. No Bullock Was Found Maimed And No Injury Sufficient In The Ordinary Course Of Nature To Cause Death Was Caused To Any Bullock. If The Entire Version Of The FIR Is Taken To Be True On Its Face Value, The Case Would Not Travel Beyond The Stage Of Preparation, Which Is Not Punishable Under Cow Slaughter Act Or Any Other Law For The Time Being In Force. There Was No Contravention Of Section 3 Or Any Other Section Of Cow Slaughter Act And Hence, No Offence Punishable Under Section 8 Of The Said Act Would Be Made Out In This Case. Attempt To Commit The Offences Described In Section 3, Section 5 And Section 5-A Of Cow Slaughter Act Is Punishable Under Section 8(2) Of The Act. If Neither Any Attempt Of Slaughtering The Cow, Bull Or Bullock Is Made Nor These Cattle Are Offered To Any Person For Slaughtering And If All The Cattle During Transportation Or Carrying Them On Foot Remained Healthy And No Cattle Is Killed Or Maimed And No Injury Sufficient In The Ordinary Course To Cause Death Is Caused To Them, Then No Offence Under The Cow Slaughter Act Would Be Made Out, Even If These Cattle Are Carried With The Intention Of Slaughtering, Because Intention Of The Offence Of Slaughtering Is Not Punishable Under Any Law For The Time Being In Force.
11. Mere Transportation Of Cow, Bull Or Bullock From One Place To Another Place Within The State Of Uttar Pradesh Or Carrying Them On Foot Can Not Amount To 'attempt' Of Slaughtering And This Act At The Most Can Be Said To The 'preparation' Of Slaughtering, Which Is Not Punishable Under Cow Slaughter Act Or Any Other Law For The Time Being In Force. Reference In This Regard May Be Made To The Case Of Babu Vs. State Of U.P. 1991 (supal) ACC 110. In That Case Bullocks Were Being Transported In Trucks Which Were Seized At Bihar Border. FIR Was Lodged Under Section 5 & 8 Of Cow Slaughter Act And Section 11 Of Animals' Cruelty Act. It Is Held By The Allahabad High Court That Uttar Pradesh Prevention Of Cow Slaughter Act Prohibits Slaughter Of Cow Or Bullocks And Possession Of Beef, But There Is Nothing In The Act Prohibiting Preparation For Cow Slaughtering. It Is Also Held That There Can Not Be Reasonable Presumption Or Inference That The Bullocks Were Being Transported For Slaughtering. In Present Case Also, Barring The So Called Confession Of The Accused Persons Before The Police, There Is No Other Material On Record To Show That The Seized Bullocks Were Being Carried To Bihar For The Purpose Of Slaughtering As Alleged In The FIR. An Affidavit Has Been Filed In This Revision By The Revisionist Kailash Yadav, Who Has Stated That The Revisionists Had Purchased The Bullocks From Different Agriculturists By Means Of Sale Letters After Making Payment Of Reasonable And Considerable Amount. Annexure-II To The Said Affidavit Is The Copy Of Release Application, Which Was Moved By The Revisionists On 24.12.2004 In The Court Of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghazipur. In That Application Also, It Was Averred That The Applicants Had Purchased The Bullocks From District Jaunpur For Agriculture Purpose And They Had Engaged Radhey Shyam Yadav, Subhash Navik, Baladin Pasi, Ramesh Yadav And Chottey Lal On Labour For Carrying The Said Bullocks To District Ghazipur. Therefore, Keeping All These Facts In View, It Can Not Be Presumed In The Present Case That The Accused Persons Were Carrying The Seized Bullocks For Slaughtering.
12. The Offence Of 'abatement' Of Slaughtering Would Also Not Be Made Out In Present Case, As The Accused Persons At The Time Of Their Arrest Were Neither Offering The Bullocks To Any Other Person For Slaughtering, Nor They Were Providing Any Other Kind Of Aid To Any Person For The Offence Of Slaughtering. Mere Transporting The Cow, Bull Or Bullock Or Carrying Them On Foot From One Place To Another Place Within The State Of Uttar Pradesh Can Not Be Said To The 'abatement' Of Any Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act, Unless These Cattle Are Either Offered To Any Other Person For Slaughtering Or Any Other Kind Of Aid Is Provided To Any Person For The Offence Of Slaughtering.
13. It Is Often Seen Now-a-days That Whenever The Cow, Bull Or Bullocks Are Transported By Any Goods Carriage Or Carried On Foot, They Are Generally Seized Either By The Police Or Some Anti-social Elements. The Uttar Pradesh Police Also Is Helpless Before Such Anti-social Elements, Who Are Violating The Fundamental Right Of Citizens To Carry The Trade Of Purchasing And Selling The Cattle. Cow Slaughter Act Prohibits Slaughter Of Cow And Its Progeny And Possession Of Beef, But Neither This Act, Nor Any Other Law For The Time Being In Force Prohibits The Trade Of Cow Or Its Progeny Within The State Of Uttar Pradesh. Unfortunately The Police Of Uttar Pradesh Is Also Helping Such Anti-social Elements By Seizing The Cattle And Vehicles Carrying Them, Even No Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act Or Animals' Cruelty Act Is Made Out. Even More Unfortunate State Of Affairs In Uttar Pradesh Is That The Magistrates And Judges In Subordinate Courts Are Also Not Looking To This Matter And Either Due To Excessive Devotion To Cow Or Lack Of Legal Knowledge, They Are Not Only Declining To Release The Seized Cattle Or Vehicles Carrying Them, But Without Applying Their Mind, They Are Rejecting The Bail Applications Also In Such Cases, Although No Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act Is Made Out And All The Offences Under Animals' Cruelty Act Are Bailable. While Making Inspection Of Rampur Judgship As Administrative Judge, I Found That A Large Number Of Bail Applications In Such Cases Were Rejected Not Only By The Magistrates, But Unfortunately The Then Sessions Judge And Some Additional Sessions Judges Also Did Not Care To See Whether Any Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act Is Made Out Or Not And Without Applying The Mind, The Bail Applications Even In Those Cases Were Rejected Where Two Or Three Bullocks Were Being Carried On Foot By The Accused. This Unfortunate Practice Of Rejecting The Bail Applications Without Applying Mind By Merely Seeing Section 3, 5, 5-A And 8 Of Cow Slaughter Act In FIR Is Prevalent Almost In The Whole Uttar Prdesh, Which Is Unnecessarily Increasing The Work-load Of High Court. By Declining Bail To The Accused Persons Under Cow Slaughter Act, Although No Offence Under This Act Is Made Out And The Offences Punishable Under Animals' Cruelty Act Are Bailable, The Personal Liberty Of The Accused Protected Under Article 21 Of The Constitution Of India Is Also Unnecessarily Curtailed Till Their Release On Granting Bail By The High Court.
14. Certain Guidelines Were Issued By The Hon'ble Apex Court In The Case Of Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai Vs. State Of Gujarat AIR 2003 Supreme Court 638 Regarding Disposal Of The Property. While Passing The Impugned Order, The Learned Court Below Did Not Care To See Those Guidelines. When No Offence Under The Cow Slaughter Act Is Made Out In The Present Case, Then There Was No Justification For The Court Below To Decline To Release The Seized Bullocks Merely On The Assumption That The Said Cattle Were Being Carried To Bihar For Slaughtering.
15. The Bullocks In Question Were Seized From The Possession Of The Accused Persons Named In The FIR, Which Was Lodged At P.S. Nanahra, Whereas The Application For Their Release Was Moved By The Revisionists Claiming Themselves To Be The Owners Of The Said Bullocks. The Court Below While Passing The Impugned Order Has Not Decided The Matter Of Ownership Of Bullocks. The Accused Persons Named In The FIR Do Not Appear To Have Been Heard At The Time Of Passing The Impugned Order. Therefore, The Bullocks Can Not Be Released By This Court In Favour Of The Revisionists, As The Matter Of Their Ownership Has To Be Decided By The Court Below After Giving Opportunity To The Accused Persons Named In The FIR. The Court Below Vide Its Impugned Order Appears To Have Declined To Release The Bullocks Assuming That The Said Bullocks Were Being Carried To Bihar For Slaughtering. As I Have Stated Above, Mere Carrying Or Transporting The Cow, Bull Or Bullock From One Place To Another Place Within The State Of Uttar Pradesh Does Not Constitute Any Offence Under Cow Slaughter Act Unless There Is Contravention Of Section 3 And 5-A Of The Act. As Stated Herein-above, There Was No Contravention Of Section 3 Or Any Other Section Of Cow Slaughter Act In The Present Case. Therefore, The Impugned Order Being Wholly Illegal Can Not Be Sustained.
16. Consequently, The Revision Is Allowed. The Impugned Order Is Set-aside And The Court Below Is Directed To Dispose Of The Release Application Of The Revisionists For Release Of The Bullocks Seized By The Police Of P.S. Nanahra, District Ghazipur In Crime No. 1062 Of 2004 Keeping In View The Observations Made In This Judgement. The Claim Of Ownership Of Seized Bullocks Will Be Decided By The Court Below After Informing The Accused Radhey Shyam Yadav, Subhash Navik, Baladin Pasi, Ramesh Yadav And Chottey Lal Yadav By Sending Notices To Them By Registered Post.
The Office Is Directed To Send A Copy Of This Judgment Within A Week To The Lower Court Concerned For Necessary Action.

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