When it comes to cases of illegal possession of beef, judges in the Punjab and Haryana High Court often refer to the internet while making judgments on cases under the Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act (1955) when there are no labs available to differentiate one meat from another, The Times of India reported.
Internet searches have also been quoted in judgements while acquitting persons who had been convicted for illegal possession of beef by lower courts, states the report.
Convictions in cases where a person has been caught with the hide or head of a cow, where it is easier to identify the animal, is much more common than in cases where a person has been caught with meat and there is "nearly 100% acquittal in cases where people have been caught with what is believed to be beef", states the report.
In a May 2011 judgment, Justice Alok Singh searched for "choosing the best cuts of beef" while acquitting an accused in a similar case.
The TOI report further states, "He (Justice Alok Singh) then said in his order that the fat around the edges of beef should be white to ivory . In an order in April this year, Justice Mahesh Grover of Punjab and Haryana HC quoted from an article on the internet while acquitting an accused and said, 'Formulating a conclusion on the bare visual examination of meat product to establish it to be beef and to form basis of conviction would be erroneous.'"
The trial courts referred to the opinions of veterinary surgeons who said that the recovered meat was beef "as its colour was red, soft, having deposits of yellowish fat portion in between two muscles".
The judges, in several orders, looked for â€śmeat and meat productsâ€ś on the internet, and found that "beef is bright or dark red with white or cream-white fat," adds the report.