– Anwarulhaq Baig
New Delhi, Nov. 24: In a significant ruling, the Allahabad High Court has made it clear that the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act does not impose any restrictions on the transportation of beef in the state.
Vaseem Ahmad, through his counsel Pradeep Kumar, filed a revision petition in the High Court, challenging the Fatehpur District Magistrate’s order of December 12, 2022, which confiscated Ahmad’s motorcycle under the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, for allegedly transporting beef.
Quashing the order confiscating motorcycle of Ahmad, a bench of the High Court led by Justice Pankaj Bhatia held that the District Magistrate did not have the power to confiscate the motorcycle under the anti-Cow Slaughter Act. The Court found that the Act only applies to the transportation of cows, bulls, or bullocks from outside the state into Uttar Pradesh. The Court also found that the confiscation order was based on a misreading of the Act and was therefore invalid. The judge further observed that the foundation for confiscation of motorcycle on charge of transportation in violation of the provision of this Act was prima facie not established.
Precisely examining the provisions of the anti-Cow Slaughter Act, Justice Bhatia observed that in the entire Act or the rules there exists no provision barring transportation of beef. Justice Bhatia added, “There is no restriction on the transportation of beef within Uttar Pradesh, even if the beef is originally transported from outside the state.”
Ahmad’s lawyer also contended that the confiscation was contrary to the mandate of the Act and also violates the rights enshrined under Article 300(A) of the Constitution of India.
On which, Justice Bhatia acknowledged that no one would be deprived of his property except in accordance with law, highlighting the need for legal authority to justify property deprivation.