Persons cannot be arrested for possession of cow hides, Uttarakhand HC

The Uttarakhand High Court earlier last month quashed criminal proceedings against the owner of a truck transporting cow hides.

In 2012, the applicant was charged under Sections 5, 6 and 11 of the Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progeny Act, 2007. She was facing criminal proceedings before the Judicial Magistrate, Rudrapur.

Represented by Advocate Dr. Kartikey Gupta, the accused sought an application under Section 482 Cr.PC. before the High Court, to quash the criminal proceedings against her, as well as the chargesheet filed five years ago.

Arguing before Justice UC Dhyani, Dr. Gupta submitted that no case had been made out against his client under the aforementioned Sections of the Act. Section 5 prohibits the possession, transport or sale of beef and beef products, whereas Section 6 makes the transport of cow progeny outside the state without a permit punishable by law.

Under Section 11, a person found to be guilty under Section 5 can face imprisonment of up to ten years, and a fine of up to Rs. 10,000. Those found guilty of violating Section can face up to three years in jail, along with a fine of up to Rs. 2,500.

The judge agreed with Dr. Gupta’s submissions, ruling,

“Foundation of criminal offence is, therefore, not laid against the present applicant, who has been implicated only because she is recorded owner of the truck by which the alleged hides were being transported.”

Therefore, the High Court quashed the pending criminal proceedings at the admission stage.

However, the Court granted the respondent state government the liberty to place on record any material which shows that possession of cow hides is punishable under the Act.

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