SC says ‘Mobocracy Can’t Become New Norm’

NEW DELHI: On mob killings in the name of cow protection, the Supreme Court today said no citizen can take the law into their hands and the government must act. “It is the state’s duty to ensure order and prevent mobocracy,” the court said today.
“In case of fear and anarchy, the state has to act positively. Violence can’t be allowed,” said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, leading a three-judge bench. “Horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become a new norm and has to be curbed with iron hands,” the court said

Putting out “preventive, remedial and punitive” guidelines to prevent such mob attacks by self-styled cow protectors, the Supreme Court urged that parliament bring in a separate law against lynching. The top court also asked the states and Union Territories to come back with a compliance report in four weeks.

The bench asked the legislature to consider enacting a new penal provision to deal with mob violence and provide deterrent punishment to offenders.

The court has ruled on petitions including those by social activist Tehseen Poonawalla and Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, seeking to check violence by cow vigilante groups.

Tushar Gandhi had also filed a contempt plea on some states, accusing them of not enforcing the earlier orders of the court. The Supreme Court has posted the petitions for further hearing on August 28.
The court had earlier said that violence by any vigilante group had to be curbed, after its attention was drawn to the violence in Maharashtra, where five people were beaten to death by a mob of villagers following WhatsApp rumours of kidnappers prowling the area.

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