The U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act of 1955 is often misued against innocent people and accused persons remain incarcerated for offences that may not have been committed at all, a single judge Bench of the Allahabad High Court observed recently..In an order passed last week, the single Judge Bench granted bail to a person accused of committing offences mentioned under Sections 3, 5 and 8 of the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 while making observations as regards misuse of the legislation..Justice Siddharth went on to observe that, ."The offence is triable by Magistrate and maximum sentence is of 7 years. Act is being misused against innocent persons. Whenever any meat is recovered, it is normally shown as cow meat (beef) without getting it examined or analyzed by the Forensic Laboratory.Allahabad High Court.Commenting further on the misuse of the legislation the Court underscored how the analysis of recovered meat, which forms the basis for sending an accused to jail, is not done. The offence under the Act carries a maximum punishment of seven years and accused persons are often left to languish in jails without due procedure for analysis being carried out.."In most of the cases, meat is not sent for analysis. Accused persons continue in jail for an offence that may not have been committed at all and which is triable by Magistrate Ist Class, having maximum sentence upto 7 years."Allahabad High Court.Not only the accused persons, the Court also remarked on the pathetic condition of the cows in the State and noted,."Whenever cows are shown to be recovered, no proper recovery memo is prepared and one does not know where cows go after recovery. Goshalas do not accept the non-milching cows or old cows and they are left to wander on the roads."Allahabad High Court.Having been left on the roads after being used for milking, these cows cause a great deal of harm, it was observed. Not only is the animal faced with risk on being left to drink drainage/sewer water or eat out of garbage, but the stray cows then also act as a menace for road traffic. The Court's order also records that a large number of deaths have been caused due to cows and cattle being left unattended on roads.The Court took note of the abandoned cows in both rural areas and cities and proceeded to observe that the Act must be implemented in letter and spirit, to ensure the animal is also protected. The Court said,."In the rural areas cattle owners who are unable to feed their live stock, abandon them. They cannot be transported outside the State for fear of locals and police. There are no pastures now. Thus, these animals wander here and there destroying the crops. Earlier, farmers were afraid of 'Neelgai' (Vanroj an antelope) now they have to save their crops from the stray cows. Whether cows are on roads or on fields their abandonment adversely affects the society in a big way. Some way out has to be found out to keep them either in the cow shelters or with the owners, if U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act is to be implemented in letter and spirit".These observations then led to the Court granting bail to the applicant in whose case, the arrest of the applicant was not even made from the spot, the Counsel for the applicant, Advocate Onkar Singh told the Court. The High Court also took note that there was no allegation against the applicant in the FIR..Relying on the dictum of Supreme Court in Dataram Singh Vs. State of U.P. and another, and the larger mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the Court then directed for the release of the applicant on bail on his furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each of the appropriate amount to the satisfaction of the concerned Court..However, the applicant was to be enlarged subject to conditions laid down by the Court which included, among others that the applicant shall,Not tamper with evidence, intimidate or pressurize witnessesCooperate in the trial sincerely without seeking any adjournment.Not indulge in any criminal activityRemain present before the trial court on each date fixed, either personally or through his counsel. In case of his absence, without sufficient cause, the trial court may proceed against him under Section 229-A of the Indian Penal Code..A breach of any of the above conditions, shall be a ground for cancellation of bail, states the order..Read the Order here.