In a big relief to the family of Pehlu Khan, who was allegedly killed two years ago by a mob that set upon him while he was transporting cows, the charge sheet against Khan and his two sons for cow-smuggling has been quashed by the Rajasthan High Court.
While disposing of the petition filed by truck driver Khan Mohammed and the two sons of Khan, Justice Pankaj Bhandari quashed the case and the charge sheet, stating that there was no evidence to show that the cows were being transported for the purpose of slaughtering.
Pehlu Khan and his sons were on their way to Nuh district in Haryana from Jaipur on Aprli 1, 2017 when the cow vigilantes stopped them in Behror on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway. The mob thrashed them on the suspicion of cow smuggling and consequently Khan had died at a hospital in Alwar on April 3. Subsequently, two FIRs were registered in the case. One was against the mob for beating Pehlu Khan to death and second against him, his sons and the truck driver for transporting cattle (cow) illegally out of the state.
While the six persons, accused of killing Khan were acquitted by an Alwar court earlier this year on August 14, the charges against Khan, his sons and the truck driver under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 were quashed today.
The police had charged Khan under Section 6 of the RBA Act and the others under sections 5, 8 and 9 of the RBA Act.
Section 5 pertains to the prohibition of export of bovine animals for the purpose of slaughter, while section 6 stipulates that the transporter in such cases is also an abettor and is liable for the same punishment as the person committing the offence. Section 8 prescribes the penalty for such offences and Section 9 prescribes the punishment for causing hurt to a bovine animal.
So far as the acquittal of the six accused in the lynching case is concerned, an appeal against the order of acquittal is pending before 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. The SIT submitted its report to the DGP last month.