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SC Asks Modi Govt Why It Has Not Implemented Directions Issued Last Year To Curb Lynchings

A bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs and 11 state governments.

The Supreme Court July 26 sought the Centre’s response on the allegation that it had not implemented directions issued last year to curb lynching and mob violence.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs and 11 state governments, based on a petition filed by Anti-Corruption Council of India Trust, a Delhi-based NGO that describes itself as a “non-political, secular organisation”. The bench also issued a notice to the National Human Rights Commission and the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.

Appearing for the trust, senior advocate Anukul Chandra Pradhan told the bench that even as incidents of lynching were increasing, no step was being taken to implement the directions of the apex court aimed at tackling the issue. He said, “The angry mob is trying to become the final adjudicator by punishing the accused without even informing the police officials, and taking the law into their hands.”

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The trust said a slew of directions passed on July 17, 2018, by the apex court to the government to provide “preventive, remedial and punitive measures” to deal with offences like mob violence had not been implemented.

In the 2018 verdict, the Supreme Court had urged the Centre to come out with a legislation to curb mob lynching. The court had also emphasised then that crimes of mob lynching should be viewed in religion-neutral terms.

The judgment said: “The horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be permitted to inundate the law of the land. Earnest action and concrete steps have to be taken to protect the citizens from the recurrent pattern of violence which cannot be allowed to become ‘the new normal’.”

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The apex court had asked the Parliament to consider enacting new laws to deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism sternly, adding that there was a need to enact a special law that would instil fear for law amongst those who involve themselves in mob lynching.

It had said it was the duty of state governments to ensure law and order in the society, besides ensuring that the rule of law prevailed.

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