No, Allahabad High Court Has Not Said Cow Slaughter Act Is Being Misused Against Innocents; Media Misreports
A large number of publications have mistaken lawyer submission on behalf of cow slaughter accused as court observations. The same lawyer submission, in fact, has been in use in Allahabad high court for cow slaughter bail applications since at least 2015
A large number of publications have reported – and prominent newspaper like The Times of India have even published it on the front page - that the Allahabad high court has observed that anti-cow slaughter act ‘is being misused against innocents’.
This is fake news.
The publications have mistaken lawyer submission on behalf of cow slaughter accused as court observations. As this correspondent has earlier revealed, the said submission - verbatim - has been in use for bail applications in cow slaughter cases in the Allahabad high court since at least 2015.
Below is a list of publications that have reported the false information:
- The Times of India has published the report on page 1 in today’s edition (27 October), titled ‘Cow slaughter Act being misused: Allahabad HC’. The paper has even given a small editorial commenting on the report, saying, ”Times View: The high court has made an important observation. One of the fundamental principles of law is to ensure that innocents are not victimised. Due diligence is imperative in every such case. No law should be used as a shortcut or as a tool for harassment.“
- Hindustan Times has published the report on page 2, titled ‘Law against cow slaughter being misused, says HC ‘
- The Indian Express: ‘UP cow slaughter law is being misused against innocent: Allahabad HC’
- NDTV: ‘Law Against Cow Slaughter in UP Being Misused, Says Allahabad High Court’
- The Hindu: ‘Anti-cow slaughter law in U.P. being misused, says High Court’
- The Quint: ‘UP Cow Slaughter Act Being Misused Against Innocent: Allahabad HC’
- Livelaw: UP Prevention Of Cow Slaughter Act Being Misused Against Innocent Persons; Any Recovered Meat Is Shown As Beef : Allahabad High Court
- National Herald: Allahabad High Court slams Yogi govt over ‘misuse’ of cow slaughter Act
And so on.
Let’s take a look at the court order on 19 October, 2020, that has been the basis of these news reports:
Justice Siddarth J of the Allahabad high court was hearing a bail plea on behalf of Rahmu alias Rahmuddin, who was booked earlier this year under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 at Thana Bhawan police station of Shamli town (FIR number 147/2020).
Advocate Onkar Singh, appearing for Rahmu for his bail application, made a submission that the Act is misused against incident persons.
Here‘s full text of the submission on 19 October:
The media has mistaken this submission for court observations. While a closer reading of the bail order is enough to conclude that the statements were part of lawyer submission, a further proof of this is the fact that the same submission has been in use in Allahabad high court since at least 2015.
Here’s the same submission - verbatim - in a similar cow slaughter case in 2015 (access the order here)
Now, see the same submission - verbatim - in 10 such cases in 2019:
Now, see same submission - verbatim - in at least eight cases in 2020:
Now, see the same submission - verbatim - in bail order by Allahabad high court on 18 October - that, is a day before the bail order that has now become the basis of all news reports - and on October 23.
It’s evident now that the media has goofed up big time in reporting the latest bail order of the Allahabad high court.
Curiously enough, while the publications have misreported lawyer submission as court observations in this case, they downplayed and even ignored the damning observations made by Punjab and Haryana high court last year about the rampant cow slaughter in Nuh (formerly Mewat) district of Haryana.
These are a few of those observations:
“...there is a complete inaction on the part of the police of District Mewat or deliberately the accused are let to go; or there is a question mark for registration of these cases...”
“…the offences are being committed by hardcore smugglers, fully trained and that too in a well planned manner on large scale in an organized way. The affidavit also reveals that whenever the police tried to apprehend the accused or make efforts for intercepting or stopping the vehicles carrying smuggled cows for slaughtering, then accused persons attacked them not only with stones, but there are instances of using illegal firearms/weapons and such incidents are frequent in District Nuh.”
“…it is apparently clear that situation is quite alarming and mere registration of the FIRs for commission of the offences under the Act of 2015, resulting into 100% acquittal by the trial Court(s) can only be termed as a police paradise and by no stretch of imagination, it can be accepted that law enforcement agency is successful in any manner for implementation of the provisions of the Act of 2015 in District Nuh.”
Here‘s a Twitter thread on the observations by the Haryana high court:
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