The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday, 9 June, approved an ordinance penalising cow slaughter with jail terms ranging from one year to 10 years and fines between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.
The state Cabinet cleared the draft of the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Cow Slaughter Prevention (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.
In case of the illegal transportation of cows and other bovines, the driver, operator and the owner of the vehicle shall be charged under the new Act, unless proven that the transportation was done without the owner’s knowledge by someone else for committing the crime.
The expenditure incurred on the maintenance of the captured cows will be recovered from the owner of the vehicle for a period of one year or until the cow or bovine is released, whichever is earlier.
The additional chief secretary (home) has stated that the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter (Amendment) Ordinance 2020, has a provision that allows authorities to put up pictures of the accused in their neighbourhoods or a prominent public place if they try to run away.
According to the government statement, if someone puts the life of a cow in danger by not providing food and water with the intention of endangering its life, one-year rigorous imprisonment may be awarded, which may extend to seven years for the first offence.
‘Certain Loopholes in Previous Act’
The Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 was implemented in the state on 6 January 1956. The Act was amended in 1958, 1961, 1979 and 2002. The rules were amended in 1964 and 1979.
“However, certain loopholes continued due to which the Act could not be effectively implemented as per the public sentiment and complaints of illegal cow slaughter and transportation of cattle were received,” the statement said.
It added, “In the 1955 Act, there is provision of maximum seven years of punishment in incidents of cow slaughter. People getting bail in such incidents were also increasing. Incidents of persons again involving in the incident after getting bail from the court were coming to the fore. Keeping these reasons in mind, and respecting the public sentiment, it became necessary that the Act be strengthened, and made more robust and effective.”
(With inputs from PTI)