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Challenging the Animal Prohibition of Slaughtering Act under confiscating the Commercial vehicle: Ranchi High Court

Sections 4(A) and 4(B) of Jharkhand Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughtering Act, 2005, it transpires that there is no provision of confiscation in that Section. This Section speaks Restriction on the report and Permit for report held by Hon’ble Mr Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi in the matters of Mr Prabhat Kumar Sinha v. Mr Prabir Kumar Chatterjee. [Cr.M.P.No. 570 of 2021].

The background of the case started from superior police officers got secret information regarding loaded with cattle is approaching. The information was entered into Station Diary Entry (S.D.E.) and then along with Gasti parties proceeded for verification of the information. The vehicle was stopped by the patrolling party but the driver fled away towards the hilly area after seeing the police. Since it was night hence no independent persons were found therefore in presence of the raiding party, the vehicle was searched in which 16 cows and 4 calves were loaded and accordingly seized and a seizure list was prepared.

The petitioner submits that there is no provision of confiscation under the Jharkhand Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughtering Act, 2005. Further submits that only provision is under Section 12(3) of the Act whereby it transpires that the vehicle in question can be forfeited to the State Government. In view of Section 12(3) that will happen once the trial concludes the conviction of charged accused.

The State submits that the vehicle in question was seized under Sections 4(A) and 4(B) and Sections 12(i) and 12(ii) of Jharkhand Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughtering Act, 2005. On perusal of provision of Jharkhand Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughtering Act, 2005, it is apparent that there is no provision of confiscation of vehicle or goods as provided under some Acts i.e. Essential Commodities Act and Forest Act. The aforesaid Acts prescribe forfeiture of vehicle particularly under Section 12(3) of Jharkhand Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughtering Act, 2005 “Whenever a vehicle is found to have been used in the transportation of Cattle or Beef contravening any provision of this Act the Vehicle shall be forfeited to the State Government.”

The Hon’ble Court concluded from the above facts and the settled law, the detention of a vehicle is of no use as it will not only lead to damage and loss of utility of the vehicle but will also cause a loss of revenue to the Government due to non-place of the commercial vehicle. The Court is directed to grant interim custody of vehicle by ordering it to be released in favour of the petitioner on his giving an undertaking on the following terms and conditions: – “1. Petitioner shall furnish an indemnity bond of Rs. Three Lacs Fifty Thousand (Rs. 3.5. Lacs) with two sureties. 2. One of the sureties must be a resident and owner of a commercial vehicle. 3. the petitioner shall not sell, mortgage or transfer the ownership of the vehicle on hire purchase agreement or mortgage or in any manner. 4. Petitioner shall not change or tamper with the identification of the vehicle in any manner. 5. Petitioner shall produce the vehicle as and when directed by the court”.

Click here to read the Judgment.

Judgment Reviewed by – Kaviya S.

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