No permit required to transport cow within Uttar Pradesh, rules Allahabad High Court

Court sets aside Varanasi District Magistrate’s order to seize a vehicle on the allegation that it was carrying animals for slaughter

August 26, 2022 10:15 pm | Updated 10:15 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo used for representational purpose only. File

Photo used for representational purpose only. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Allahabad High Court has observed that mere transportation of cow and its progeny within Uttar Pradesh is not a violation of any of the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Cow Slaughter Act.

The Court, in a recent order, maintained that no permission was required to transport cows within the State.

The High Court was hearing a plea against an order by the Varanasi District Magistrate to confiscate the truck of Mohammad Shakib as the first information report (FIR) stated that the vehicle was ferrying cows for slaughter.

Allowing the petition, the single-judge Bench of Mohammed Aslam ordered that the vehicle, which had been in police possession for 20 months, be released. The Bench set aside the order of the District Magistrate, which had been upheld by a lower court in Chandauli.

Mr. Shakib said he was in the transport business. In December 2020, his vehicle was confiscated by personnel of the Sayaidaraja police station in Chandauli district for allegedly carrying cows without permit. An FIR was lodged under Sections 3/5A/8, 5B of the Cow Slaughter Act and Section 11 of the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act.

The FIR stated that the police were informed by an informer that the truck was allegedly carrying cows for slaughter without valid permission. The police recovered 16 bullocks from the vehicle. The driver fled from the spot.

Mr. Shakib had moved an application before the District Magistrate which was rejected on August 2021. Thereafter, he filed a criminal revision against the order before the District and Sessions Judge, Chandauli, but the court, without considering the record of the case in a routine manner, rejected the revision in October 2021.

The government advocate opposed the prayer for the release of the vehicle and said that cow and its progeny cannot be transported within Uttar Pradesh without permit as per Section 5A of the Cow Slaughter Act, which regulates transport of cow, among other things.

He added that sub-clauses 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 were inserted after sub-clause 5 to Section 5A which deal with the seizure of the cow and the transport medium by which beef or cow and its progeny transported in violation of the provisions of this Act and the relevant rules, shall be confiscated and seized by law enforcement officers.

While pronouncing the orders, the High Court said that from the perusal of sub-sections one to five of Section 5A and the law laid down by the court in the Kailash Yadav case, it was clear that there was no need for permit to transport cow and its progeny within Uttar Pradesh.

“Therefore, transportation of a cow and its progeny within the State of Uttar Pradesh is not a violation of any of the provisions of the Cow Slaughter Act. Hence it cannot be said that the seized vehicle in question was used in violation of any provisions of the Cow Slaughter Act, and therefore, police have no power or jurisdiction to seize or confiscate the vehicle in question,” the court said.

The court set aside the impugned order passed by the Varanasi District Magistrate on August 18, 2021, as well as the orders of the Special Judge (SC/ST Act), Chandauli, dated October 13, 2021.

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