The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday, June 9, approved a draft ordinance to prevent incidents of crime related to cows and prevent their slaughter.
The state cabinet approved the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 said the Additional Chief Secretary, Home and Information, Awanish Awasthi at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The ordinance approved maximum rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh and aims at making the existing Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 more effective to completely stop such incidents of cow slaughter in the state.
The Cabinet noted that a substantial portion of the state's economy is dependent on agriculture in which cow and other cattle animals play a significant role, aid in functioning and boosting of state's economic activities and social structure.
According to the law, a person can be given a rigorous punishment of one to seven years with a fine ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
For the second time, an individual can be punished with imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh, a statement said.
For cases of illegal transportation of cows and other bovines, the statements said that the driver, operator and the owner of the vehicle shall also be charged under the new laws unless proven that the transportation was done without the owner's knowledge by someone else for committing the crime.
Committing such a crime would also include recovery of the maintenance expenditure of such captured cows from the owner of the vehicle for a period of one year or until the cow/bovine is released, whichever is earlier.
According to the statement, if someone puts the life of a cow in danger by not providing food and water with the intention of endangering its life, one-year rigorous imprisonment may be awarded, which may extend to seven years for the first offence.
Additionally, a fine of Rs 1 lakh may be imposed, which may be extended to Rs 3 lakh.
The statement also mentioned that due to loopholes in the Act, rampant incidents of illegal cow slaughter and transportation of cattle were reported.
The Cabinet stressed that strengthening the laws in light of public sentiments and working towards its effective implementation would help in preventing illegal transportation of cows and other bovines from the state, promoting agriculture in the cities and rural areas.