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New Delhi: The Allahabad high court on Wednesday said parliament should make a law declaring the cow a “national animal” and include cows within the ambit of fundamental rights. Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav made these remarks while denying bail to a man accused of cow slaughter.
“The work of cow protection is not only of one religious sect, but cow is the culture of India and the work of saving the culture is of every citizen living in the country irrespective of religion,” the judge said, according to Bar and Bench.
“Jab gaaye ka kalyaan hoga, tabhi desh ka kalyaan hoga (Only if cow is revered, country will prosper),” the court’s order said.
The court also said a fundamental right is not only the prerogative of beef eaters but also of those who worship the cows and are financially dependent on it.
LiveLaw has reported that the court also noted that “scientists believe that the cow is the only animal in the world that inhales oxygen and exhales oxygen.” Such a claim does not have a basis in science.
The judge claimed that India was the only country where individuals from different communities may live, but they all think the same way about the nation. “In such a situation, when everyone takes a step forward to unite India and support its faith, then some people whose faith and belief are not at all in the interest of the country, they only weaken the country by talking like this in the country. In view of the above circumstances, prima facie offence is proved to be committed against the applicant,” the judge said.
Granting bail to the accused, Javed, may “disturb harmony”, the court continued. “This is not the first offence of the applicant. Even before this offence, he had committed cow slaughter, which had disturbed the harmony in society,” the court said, adding that if released on bail, the accused will again commit the same offence.
The judge also noted that gaushalas in the state were not being properly kept. “The government also gets the gau shalas constructed, but the people who have to take care of the cow do not take care of the cows. Similarly, the private gau-shalas have also become a mere sham today in which people take donations from the public and help from the government in the name of cow promotion, but spend it for their own interest and do not care of cow.”
Cows should be brought under the scope of fundamental rights in Part III of the constitution, the judge said.
In June 2020, the Uttar Pradesh assembly had passed an ordinance providing a maximum rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh for cow slaughter. In October 2020, a different bench of the Allahabad high court had found that the state’s cow slaughter law was prone to “frequent misuse”. Often, the court noted, meat found in an accused’s possession was assumed to be beef without any analysis.
Over the last few years, in several parts of India, Muslims and people from oppressed castes who work in cattle trade or with animal hides have been subjected to severe violence by vigilantes calling themselves “gau rakshaks” or cow protectors.
(With PTI inputs)