The Allahabad High Court has refused to quash the charge sheet and criminal proceedings against four persons accused of cow slaughter.

The Bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal noted that there were serious allegations against the accused persons and held that prima facie cognizable offence was made out against them.

The accused persons had approached the High Court seeking quashing of criminal proceedings registered against them under Sections 153- A, 420, 429, 188, 269, 270, 273 of the Indian Penal Code and section 3/5/8 of Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 and section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1979 and section 7/8 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Senior Advocate N.I. Jafri appearing for the applicants submitted that the cow meat (beef) recovered from the possession of accused persons was sent for chemical examination. He contended that the report of Forensic Investigation Laboratory did not disclose that the sample sent for analysis was of cow.

He then contended that the applicants were roped in another criminal cases under The U.P. Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986. He submitted that the said proceedings was challenged before the High Court and the Court had stayed further proceedings in the said case.

On the other hand A.G.A. for the State, Roopak Chaubey, submitted that cow meat (beef) and 16 live cattle were recovered from the possession of the applicants and the other co-accused. He also submitted that the accused persons were not having any license to run the slaughter house.

The Court considered its inherent power for quashing proceedings under Section 482 CrPC by referring to a catena of Supreme Court judgments.

The Court noted that the Apex Court while laying down the parameters had made it clear that where the allegations made in the first information report or complaint taken at their face value and accepted in entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out any case against the accused, the proceedings can be quashed.

The Court also considered guidelines on powers under Section 482 CrPC enumerated by the Supreme Court in the case- M/s Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. vs. State of Maharashtra.

The Court observed that the dictum of Apex Courts judgments was that the power under Section 482 CrPC should be invoked in exceptional cases where no offence was made out or the allegation in the report on face of it did not constitute any offence then such proceedings can be quashed.

The Court noted that the applicants could not point out that no offence was made out from the reading of FIR, apart from relying the FSL report which was only to the extent that sample which was sent for chemical analysis was not cow meat.

"Thus, as the applicants could not point out that allegations made in the First Information Report even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused, or the allegations in the First Information Report are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can every reach at just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused and lastly that criminal proceedings are manifestly attended with mala fide", the Court observed.

The Court held that prima facie, the offence was made out and that there being serious allegations, no ground was made out for quashing the proceedings. Accordingly, the application was dismissed.

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