CHANDIGARH: In a significant move, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Haryana government to inform it about the power or authority vested in cow vigilantes to raid homes of citizens. “Haryana is directed to address the court on the power/authority of vigilantes to raid the houses of the citizens.
Such actions are prima facie illegal and amount to taking law into their own hands by private individuals. This is contrary to the Rule of Law,” observed the high court while seeking a reply from the state government.
Justice Sudhir Mittal of the HC passed these orders while granting bail to Mubbi, alias Mubin, a native of Mewat in Haryana in relation to an FIR registered against him by the Mewat police under the cow protection law.
The allegations in the FIR against Mubin are that the local Gau Raksha Dal, led by its district chief, raided his house and found a bull, a cow, and a calf tethered there. The petitioner ran away from the spot and could not be apprehended. The cow vigilantes discovered instruments of slaughter in the house and informed the local police.
An FIR dated March 11, 2021, was registered at Bichhor Police Station in Nuh district under various sections of the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015 and related charges under IPC.
In his plea for bail before the HC, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that Section 3 of the aforementioned Act prohibits cow slaughter but the facts of this case don’t reveal the slaughter of any cow and, thus, Section 3 is not attracted. Section 8 of the cow protection law prohibits the sale of beef. However, as there was no slaughter, there is no question of sale of beef and, thus, Section 8 is also not attracted, the counsel said.
The HC issued a notice to Nuh police and the Haryana government seeking a reply to the contentions raised. The matter has been fixed for July 19 for the next hearing.