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Posted at: Jul 4, 2018, 1:53 AM; last updated: Jul 4, 2018, 11:49 AM (IST)

SC: States bound to check lynchings, cow vigilantism

Will list norms to punish accused, compensate victims
SC: States bound to check lynchings, cow vigilantism
The date of the meeting with the social media representatives was yet to be fixed, another official said, adding that it was expected to be held soon.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3

Amid rising concerns over incidents of mob lynching in various parts of the country, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said states were obligated to prevent vigilantism and it could not be allowed to happen by the remotest chance.

“Whether there is a law or not (against lynching), nobody should be allowed to take law into their hands,” said a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which reserved its orders on petitions seeking directions to check violence by cow vigilante groups.

Misra made it clear that the verdict would cover all types of mob violence. Whatever may be the motive, it remained mob violence, he said. The verdict would cover prevention of such crimes, prosecution of offenders and compensation to victims, the CJI said.

“States are under obligation and the courts also have to see to it that such incidents are prevented,” said the Bench, which had in September last year issued certain directions, including appointment of nodal officers, to prevent cow vigilante groups from resorting to mob violence against cattle traders. The Bench rejected senior counsel Indira Jaising’s submission that victims belonging to “vulnerable groups” should be identified for grant of compensation on the basis of religion, sex, caste or creed as mentioned in Article 15 that talks about right to non-discrimination.

“A victim of crime is a victim. Compensation will be determined on the basis of the nature of injury suffered — whether it is a simple injury or a serious injury or a death,” the CJI said. The Centre said law and order was the responsibility of state governments and it had issued a series of advisories to them on the issue. “A scheme or a statutory framework to control incidents of lynching is not required,” Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha told the Bench.

Jaising said despite the court’s directions, mob lynching continued even in the vicinity of the national capital. Recently, there was a lynching and death just 60 km away from Delhi, she told the Bench. Noting that the incidents were beyond the description of law and order, Jaising said: “There is a pattern and a motive behind them.” As she requested the Bench to fix some responsibility on the Centre, Narasimha said: “The Union feels responsible... we don’t need to be advised by you.”

WhatsApp warned over rumours

The government on Tuesday directed WhatsApp to take urgent steps to prevent spread of ‘irresponsible and explosive messages’ through its platform amid cases of lynching provoked by posts circulated on the app. The Ministry of Electronics and IT said the Facebook-owned company ‘can’t evade accountability and responsibility’.

THE HUNTED

At least 16 cases of lynching on suspicion of child-lifting reported from Tripura to Maharashtra since May 10, which left 22 people dead

July 1 Five killed in Maharashtra's Dhule

June 28-29  A woman, a hawker from UP and a man hired by the Tripura Government to fight rumour- mongering lynched in three districts of Tripura

June 26 A 40-year-old woman beaten to death by 30 people in Ahmedabad

June 22 A man beaten to death in Chhattisgarh's Sarguja

June 8 Two men, on a holiday to Kangthilangso in Karbi Anglong, Assam, killed with bamboo poles and wooden sticks by a frenzied mob

May 28 A transgender lynched by a mob of over 500  in old Hyderabad city during Ramzan

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