In a significant direction, the Punjab & Haryana High Court last week directed the Haryana State's Additional Advocate General to address the Court on the power/authority of vigilantes to raid the houses of the citizens.
The Bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal also observed that,
"Such actions are prima facie illegal and amount to taking law into their own hands by private individuals. This is contrary to the Rule of Law"
The case before the Court
The allegations in the FIR are that the local Gau Raksha Dal led by its District President raided the house of the petitioner, one Mubbi Alias Mubin (Petitioner seeking anticipatory bail), and allegedly found a bull, a cow, and a calf tethered there.
Further, it has been alleged that the petitioner ran away from the spot and could not be apprehended and on return, the aforementioned persons discovered instruments of slaughter in the house.
They informed the local Police and an FIR was registered at Police Station Bichhor, District Nuh, under Sections 3, 8(1) of the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015 and Section 511 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that Section 3 of the Act prohibits cow slaughter and that the facts of the case do not reveal the slaughter of any cow and, thus, Section 3 was not attracted to the facts of the case.
It was also argued that Section 8 of the Act prohibits the sale of Beef and since, there was no slaughter, there was no question of the sale of Beef and, thus, Section 8 was also not attracted.
Lastly, it was submitted that the local Gau Raksha Dal and its District President were not authorized to raid the house of the petitioner and that they were themselves guilty of offence of trespassing.
Issuing the notice of motion, which was accepted by Addl. A.G. Haryana on behalf of the respondent, the Court granted the Petitioner, Anticipatory Bail, and directed him to join the investigation with the Investigating Officer and cooperate therewith.
Further, the Court ordered that in the event of his arrest, he shall be released on interim bail to the satisfaction of the Investigating Officer/SHO concerned subject to his compliance of the conditions enshrined under Section 438 (2) Cr.P.C.
Lastly, the Court directed the Addl. A.G. Haryana,
"To address the Court on the power/authority of vigilantes to raid the houses of the citizens. Such actions are prima facie illegal and amount to taking law into their own hands by private individuals. This is contrary to the Rule of Law."
Case title - Mubbi alias Mubin v. State of Haryana