The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Chief Secretaries of 22 states to file compliance reports in pursuance of its order on laying down a mechanism to sternly deal with cow vigilante groups, saying nobody can wash off their hands, reported news agency PTI. As per a report by The Indian Express, the Supreme Court also said that states were under obligation to compensate victims of violence by cow vigilante groups even without any judicial order.
The statement came from a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra which also includes Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. “We do not have to say that. All states are under an obligation to compensate victims of cow vigilante violence. At the same time, law and order have to have primacy and anyone violating it must be dealt with sternly,” it said according to IE.
The bench had asked the counsel for the 22 states to file compliance reports by October 13 and fixed PILs, including one filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi on the issue, for hearing on October 31. At the outset, senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Gandhi, said the central government be directed to frame a national policy on preventing incidents of cow vigilantism.
After many cases of violence in the name of saving cows came to light, the Supreme Court had on September 6 passed a slew of measures and asked states to appoint a senior police officer in every district as a nodal officer. “The senior police officer shall take prompt action and will ensure vigilante groups and such people are prosecuted with promptitude,” it had said, adding that the nodal officers have to ensure that cow vigilantes did not become a law unto themselves.
Apart from this, the apex court had also asked the states to make sure that highways are patrolled with efficiency as such incidents took place on highways on the pretext that vehicles are carrying beef. Besides Gandhi, Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla has also filed a similar petition.