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Cow is the basis of Hindu faith, must declare it national animal, Allahabad High Court says

Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav says cow protection should be made 'fundamental right of Hindus' while denying bail to a person charged under Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.

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New Delhi: Cow is the basis of Hindu faith and a symbol of Hindu culture, the Allahabad High Court said Wednesday, while denying bail to a person charged under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955.

The single-judge bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav said that considering the “current situation”, it is important that the cow be declared a national animal and cow protection be made a “fundamental right of Hindus”.

“When the culture and faith of a nation faces injury, the nation gets weaker,” Justice Yadav added.

“The Parliament should bring a law to make cow a national animal and make strict laws against people who talk of harming cows,” stated the order, without referring to any particular class of people.

Justice Yadav did not, however, give any direction to the Centre to this effect and his remarks are part of the observations recorded in the order.

The Allahabad HC had been hearing the bail plea of a man called Javed, who had been charged under sections 3,5 and 8 of the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, for allegedly slaughtering a cow and consuming its meat.

The order cites Article 48 of the Constitution which says that the State shall endeavour to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle and the order, condemned the fact that cow slaughter is still not a crime in some states.
The judge wrongly observed that “scientists believe that the cow is the only animal which takes in oxygen, gives off oxygen”. To support his point on the importance of cows in Hindu culture, Justice Yadav also said that cows are “even mentioned in the Vedas, which are thousands of years old”.
Diving further into unsubstantiated history, the court said that “even Muslim rulers banned the slaughter of cows because they understood their importance to Indian culture”.

‘Many cows die of hunger in sheds’

The court also commented on the badly maintained cowsheds in Uttar Pradesh and said even where the government had funded the establishment of cowsheds, the people responsible for maintaining them fail to take proper care of the cows.

The judge said it is “painful” to see that “sometimes those who talk about cow protection themselves become cow-eaters”.

Coming down heavily on private cowsheds, the court said the “only aim” of owners of such sheds was to make money.

The order observed that private cowsheds had become a sham for which donations from the public and aid from the government are taken, but they fail to provide proper care to cows. “Many cows die of hunger and disease in cowsheds,” the court noted.

The court said that even cows older than 15 years of age — which are not capable of producing milk anymore — should not be slaughtered because “their dung and urine are very useful for cultivation”.

With regard to Javed’s case, the judge said this wasn’t the first time the accused had been charged under the Act. He proceeded to deny him bail stating that if bail is granted, then it might ‘disturb’ the harmony of the society at large.

Tushar Kohli is a final-year student at Army Institute of Law, Mohali, and is interning at ThePrint

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Govt’s cow panel drops chapters calling Jersey cows ‘lazy’, linking slaughter with earthquake


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