The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday dismissed a case against Pehlu Khan, the cattle trader, who was brutally killed by a mob in 2017, on the suspicion of cow smuggling.
The charges against two of his sons and the driver of the vehicle in which the animals were being ferried have also been quashed, news agency ANI reported.
A single bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari quashed the case under Rajasthan Bovine Animals Protection Act and the charge sheet against the four, saying there is no evidence to show that the cows were being transported for the purpose of slaughtering.
The petition was filed by truck driver Khan Mohammed and the two sons of Khan.
It was contended by Advocate Kapil Gupta, appearing for the accused, that the criminal case was a sheer misuse and abuse of the process of law since there was no evidence that the cows were being transported for illegal purposes.
In August, following the acquittal of all six accused in the lynching case, the Rajasthan government had set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe his murder and identify lapses and irregularities in the police investigation.
The team had, in September, submitted its report to the Rajasthan government. Earlier this month, on October 14, the government moved the court against the acquittal by the district court, according to the lawyer.
Reacting to the verdict, Pehlu Khan's son Irshad said: "We are very happy with the high court's direction today to quash the FIR and charge sheet against me and my brother. We were not taking the cows for the purpose of slaughtering but we were attacked. Today, justice was done."
The 55-year-old dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, a native of Nuh in Haryana, was allegedly beaten up by self-styled cow vigilantes near Behror in Rajasthan on the Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1. He succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on April 3.
The Additional Judicial Magistrate acquitted the six men, giving them benefit of the doubt, according to a lawyer.
Pehlu Khan (55), his two sons and a few others were transporting cows when they were allegedly stopped and thrashed by cow vigilantes near Behror on April 1, 2017.
(With inputs from PTI)
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