Granting bail to a man jailed over cow-killing allegations, the Allahabad High Court today expressed concern over what it called the repeated misuse of the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act and its implication on innocent persons in such cases, pointing out "accused persons continue in jail for an offence that may not have been committed at all".
The court also noted that in a number of cases, meat found by the authorities was presented as cow meat (beef) without it being analysed by experts.
"Whenever any meat is recovered, it is normally shown as cow meat (beef) without getting it examined or analysed by the Forensic Laboratory. In most of the cases, the meat is not sent for analysis. Accused persons continue in jail for an offence that may not have been committed at all," the court said while hearing the bail application of a man called Rahmuddin, who has been in jail since August 5 on cow slaughter charges.
The court raised questions about how cows were treated by their owners, pointing out many were often left to fend for themselves and wander the roads.
The stray cows that are recovered (by the state) do not have proper documentation and "one does not know where the cows go after...", the court continued.
"Owners of cows after milking, leave the cows to roam on roads, to drink drainage/sewer water and eat garbage, polythene, etc. Cows on the road are menace to traffic... cannot be transported... for fear of locals and police. Some way has to be found to keep them either in shelters or with owners," the court said.
The court made these remarks after being told that Rahmuddin, or Rahmu, had been in jail for over a month but no specific allegation was listed in the FIR filed by the local police against him.
According to the bail plea filed today, Rahmuddin, accused of killing a cow, was not arrested from the crime scene.
Rahmuddin has been granted conditional bail.