India

SC Condemns Mob Lynching, Says Mobocracy Can’t Be Permitted The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and state governments to create a new law to punish those involved in lynching and mob violence

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THE Supreme Court on Tuesday directed a slew of “preventive, remedial and punitive” measures to be adopted by the Centre and state governments to deal with incidents of lynching and mob vigilantism.

A three-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud directed the Parliament to “create a separate offence” to deter these crimes saying “the horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be permitted to inundate the law of the land”.

The judgement was in response to petitions filed by activist Tushar Gupta and businessman and Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla against cow protection vigilante groups.

The bench put the onus on the State saying “…in times of chaos and anarchy, the State has to act positively and responsibly to safeguard and secure the Constitutional promises to its citizens”.

The court directed state governments to:

– designate a nodal officer, not below the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP), and to be assisted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to monitor and take action against the perpetrator

– identify places where mob lynching has taken place in the last five years

– monitor and book offensive and inflammatory messages on social media, including WhatsApp

– setup fast-track courts to try such cases

– prepare a victim compensation scheme

Commenting further on the fast-track courts, the bench said there should be a day-to-day hearing of such cases and should preferably be concluded within six months from the day of commencement.

“To set a stern example in cases of mob violence and lynching, upon conviction of the accused person(s), the trial court must ordinarily award maximum sentence as provided for various offences under the provisions of the IPC”, the Supreme Court added.

The bench has given the Centre and states four weeks to put these measures in place and file a compliance report at the end of four weeks.

Laying out the punitive measures, the court also said that failure to comply by the police officers should be “considered as an act of deliberate negligence and/or misconduct”.

~ENDS~

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