Cow vigilantism unacceptable, onus on states and Centre to curb lynchings : Supreme Court

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 vigilantism.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, July 3 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that mob lynching, whether it is related to cow vigilantism or child lifting rumors, is a crime and  the onus lies on the states and the Centre to ensure that incidents of mob lynchings do not occur as it reserved its verdict on petitions against attacks by cow vigilante groups.

The Apex court will issue guidelines to all states and Centre on how to tackle mob lynching.

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.This kind of incidents cannot occur. It can’t be accepted in remotest sense.

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.

The Centre has summitted to the three-judge bench of Supreme Court that it mob lynching is a law and order problem and the Court may deal with the state governments if they are not following its order.

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 vigilantism.

“Who will stop them? Some mechanism has to be there to prevent violence indulged in by these groups. This must stop. Some kind of planned and well-coordinated action is required by the governments so that vigilantism does not grow,“ the bench said.

The apex court had sought response from Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments on a plea seeking contempt action for not following its order to take stern steps to stop violence in the name of cow vigilantism, today led the Supreme Court to seek responses from the three states.

The contempt petition has been filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, saying the three states have not complied with the top court order of September 6 last year.

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