Delhi High Court asks Centre, Delhi govt to respond to plea on cow protection in Delhi [2.3.2023]

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the response of the Centre and the Delhi government on a plea seeking direction to authorities to take steps to stop cow slaughter in the national capital.

The petition sought a court direction to authorities for a separate cow protection cell in every district of Delhi.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi government and the Delhi Police after hearing the petition. It granted six weeks to the authorities to file counter affidavits or status reports in the matter and listed it for further hearing on May 17.

During the hearing on Thursday, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul submitted that "it is a genuine case and cow is respected in this country".

Petitioner Ajay Gautam said there are 15 districts in Delhi which have over 200 police stations, 52 police posts with a strength of about 80,000 police personnel.

"Only 38,000 police persons are deputed in police stations and rest of the strength is deputed in battalion and other units. Despite the presence of such a huge force, there have been rampant incidents of cow slaughter in Delhi," the plea claimed.

It alleged that Mewat in Haryana, about 85 km from Delhi, is infamous for cow slaughter and people from the area smuggle cattle out of Delhi and take them to Mewat to slaughter them.

"In fact, incidents of cow torture and slaughter increase manifold during Bakra-Eid when cow-smugglers break horns of cows and dump innocent animals in their tempos after throwing red-chilly in their eyes.... Whenever a person who reveres the holy cow as his mother, witnesses such incidents of ill-treatment and tortures of cows, it becomes impossible for him to tolerate it and sometimes situation gone out of control," the plea said.

In many cases, the plea added, the "gau sevaks" reach the crime scene first and the police arrive later.

"Impounding of vehicles transporting cow's meat is a very common occurrence," it said, adding that often this results in communal tension in the area.

The petition said the Delhi Police is empowered to make a special cell or unit for protection of cows to avoid conflict between cow smugglers and gau sewaks under the Delhi Police Act.

02 Mar 2023