Kerala house row: Police violated law, says probe by Delhi government

New Delhi: Police violated provisions of law in entering Kerala House to investigate whether 'beef' was served in its canteen on a complaint, found a Delhi Government-instituted probe into police action over a week back that had triggered a political row.

It said the entry of the Delhi Police team in Kerala House canteen on October 26 cannot be construed as a mere visit as claimed by the law enforcement agency as they had gone there with the "sole purpose of investigation" into the complaint.

The probe by a Deputy Commissioner said though it was amply clear to the police team during the first visit to the canteen that no beef was served, it made a second visit after a gap of 15-20 minutes which the inquiry report termed 'absolutely unethical'.

The police had maintained its team had visited the canteen after getting a complaint that it served "beef".

Opposition parties as well as the Kerala government had reacted sharply to the police action. Kerala government had even threatened legal action if the Centre does not admit that the "raid" by police at the state-run guest house was a 'mistake'. Later, police had arrested Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta for allegedly making a false complaint that the canteen served "beef".

The report said as per provisions of the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act (DACP), 1994 and rules framed under it, Delhi Police has no authority to "enter, enquire and search the alleged presence and sale of cow meet in the canteen." It said director of Animal Husbandry department and veterinary officers are competent to enter any premises and to search and seize the place where they have reasons to believe that an offence has been committed or likely to be committed.

"The entry of officials of Delhi Police cannot be construed as a visit for enforcement of the law and order. They visited for the sole purpose of investigation of a complaint related to serving of beef in the canteen of Kerala House," said the report.

It recommended sensitising the Delhi Police personnel and veterinary officers in following proper protocol while inspecting various state houses and hotels for enforcement of the provisions of the DACP Act. It also called for developing a standard operating procedure for conducting inspections under the Act.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also condemned the police action and wondered if a CM would be arrested from a state guest house if he was suspected of eating something that BJP does not like.

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