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Cow slaughter in one’s home does not invite case under NSA: Allahabad HC

New Delhi, Aug 14 (KMS): The Allahabad High Court has quashed the case of cow slaughter under National Security Act (NSA) against three men observing that slaughtering a cow inside one’s residential premises does not constitute an issue of public order.

The court was hearing the habeas corpus petitions filed by the families of Irfan, Rahmatullah and Parvez who were detained for alleged cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district in July 2020.

The court while ordering the release of the trio said “no material (was on record) for reaching the conclusion that the petitioners would repeat the activity in future”.

The order passed by the court on August 5, according to Indian media, said: The “act of slaughtering a cow in the secrecy of one’s own house in the wee hours probably because of poverty or lack of employment or hunger, would perhaps only involve a law and order issue and could not be said to stand on the same footing as a situation where a number of cattle have been slaughtered outside in public view and the public transport of their flesh or an incident where an aggressive attack is made by the slaughterers against the complaining public, which may involve infractions of public order.”

They were detained under different sections of the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013. Moreover, the court was informed that they were also booked in another case under the UP Gangsters Act and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.

The police had told the court that they had received information that Irfan, Rahmatullah and Parvez and two butchers from Biswan village were cutting beef to sell it and raided the house of the petitioners. Two of the accused, Parvez and Irfan, were arrested on the spot along with beef.

The High Court noted that when the word of slaughter had gone out the Hindus gathered in the locality and it created a communal situation but police were able to restore the public order after a lot of time.

The lawyer representing the accused argued that since an FIR was registered under gangster Act there was no need to invoke NSA merely for cutting beef in the secrecy of home.

Recent investigation had found that Allahabad HC quashed 94 of the 120 NSA cases filed between January 2018 and December 2020 questioning the very constitutionality of the law.

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