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Published On: Tue, Jul 3rd, 2018

Cow vigilantism unacceptable , states to prevent lynchings: SC

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CowvigilantesNEW DELHI :Taking a strong exception to the alleged lynchings by cow vigilantes, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the onus lies on states to ensure that such incidents do not occur.
“This kind of incidents cannot occur. It can’t be accepted in remotest sense. Obligation of states to ensure that such incidents do not occur,” the apex court observed. Lynchings and mob violence cannot happen by the remotest chance. It is the obligation of the States to see that such crimes are prevented.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said this was a law and order issue and each state has to be responsible. The bench observed that the instances of vigilantism was actually mob violence, which is a crime. The top court has reserved its order on pleas seeking directions to formulate guidelines to curb such violence.
Last year, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar directed the Centre and states to take strong measures to curb cow vigilan

A Bench led by Chief Justice Misra was hearing a contempt petition filed by activist Tehseen Poonawalla that despite a Supreme Court order to the States to prevent lynchings and violence by cow vigilantes, the crimes continue with impugnity.

“Whether there is a law or not [against lynchings]… nobody should be allowed to take law into their hands,” the CJI said. “Despite your order to the States to appoint nodal officers to prevent such incidents, recently there was a lynching and death just 60 km away from Delhi,” senior advocate Indira Jaising submitted.
“Each State shall be held responsible. Law and order is the State’s responsibility,” the CJI observed orally.

‘These crimes have a pattern’ Ms. Jaising said incidents of lynchings went “beyond the description of law and order… these crimes have a pattern and a motive. For instance, all these instances happen on highways. This court had asked the States to patrol the highways.”

“Let us not confine ourselves to any pattern or motive… All these incidents are instances of mob violence,” the CJI responded.He asked the Central government to frame a scheme under Article 256 to give directions to the States to prevent/control the instances and maintain law and order.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P.S. Narasimha, however, disagreed, saying such a scheme was unnecessary. “The concern here is maintaining law and order. The question is whether the State governments can implement your directions,” he said.
Ms. Jaising said the Union had issued advisories but not backed it up with action.“The Union feels responsible… we don’t need to be advised by you,” Mr. Narasimha reacted to Ms. Jaising.

“There is a difference between ‘feeling’ and ‘action,’” Ms. Jaising replied. She said lynchings were “targetted violence” against particular religion, caste, and thus, in violation of the constitutional guarantees under Article 15 of the Constitution. Article 15 protects one from discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, sex, gender, etc.
She said the compensation to be determined for victims of lynchings should be fixed with an eye on the fact that they were targeted for their religion and caste.But the CJI objected to the suggestion, saying “anyone can be a victim” of such mob violence, irrespective of their religion or caste or sex.
The CJI said the criteria for determining compensation would not be their religion or caste but the nature of injury — simple or grievous — or death. “Anyone is a victim and not just those under Article 15. This has more potential than Article 15,” he observed.
(The Hindu )


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