Rajasthan HC quashes cattle smuggling case against Pehlu Khan, 2 sons and driver
31st October 2019
Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday dismissed an FIR filed on charges of cattle smuggling against Pehlu Khan, who was lynched by cow vigilantes in April 2017, his sons and a truck operator. A single-judge bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari quashed the case under the Rajasthan Bovine Animals Protection Act and and the chargesheet against the four, saying there is no evidence to show that the cows were being transported for the purpose of slaughtering. The petition was filed by truck driver Khan Mohammed and the two sons of Pehlu Khan. It was contended by Advocate Kapil Gupta, appearing for the accused, that the criminal case was a sheer misuse and abuse of the process of law since there was no evidence that the cows were being transported for illegal purposes. Gupta argued that the report of medical experts established the fact they were milch cows and calves were only a month old. There was also a receipt from the local animal selling market that the cows were in fact purchased for rearing them in dairy, the lawyer submitted. Khan, a 55-year-old native of Haryana’s Nuh, had left his village to purchase cattle in order to increase milk produce for Ramzan. Surrounded by a mob of cow vigilantes on the Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1, 2017, he tried to save himself by showing his purchase receipts, but was lynched with rods and sticks. In April 2017, along with the FIR against those who allegedly lynched Pehlu Khan, the police had also registered a case related to cattle smuggling against his two sons and the truck operator. A court in Alwar in August had acquitted all six accused in the lynching case. The state government has challenged the verdict in the high court. After the lower court verdict, the state government had constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to identify errors and irregularities in the investigation and fix the responsibility for botching up the investigation on individual officers.