Uttar Pradesh’s law against cow slaughter does not prohibit transportation of beef, the Allahabad High Court has said.

Justice Pankaj Bhatia passed the order on November 20 in response to a petition by a man named Vaseem Ahmad. The order was made public on Thursday.

In 2021, Ahmad was among four persons booked under the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, for allegedly transporting beef. The case against him was filed as he owned one of the motorcycles that the accused persons used.

Subsequently, the Fatehpur district magistrate ordered his motorcycle to be confiscated based on a police report. Ahmad then approached the High Court demanding that his vehicle be released while the case was pending.

Justice Bhatia said that the law does not prohibit people from transporting beef from one place to another in the state.

“The restrictions on transportation in terms of the Act and the Rules framed thereunder is only applicable in respect of transportation of cow, bull or bullock that too in any place in Uttar Pradesh from any place outside the state,” the judge said. “In the entire Act or the rules, there exists no provision barring transportation of beef.”

Justice Bhatia said that Section 5A of the Act only prohibits cows, bulls or bullocks from being transported from outside Uttar Pradesh into the state.

“There is no bar or restriction of transport of beef even from any place outside the State to any place inside the State,” he said. “In the present case, the allegation being alleged [of] transportation of beef on a vehicle [motorcycle] within two places in the state is neither prohibited nor even regulated.”

The High Court directed Ahmed’s motorcycle to be released after he furnishes a bond of Rs 5,000.