In a big crackdown on lynching incidents in the country, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday asked the Centre to create a separate law to deal with vigilante-related crimes and treat it as a separate offence. The Supreme Court, while hearing a PIL, ruled that no ‘citizen can take law into his hands nor become law unto himself’. The apex court ruled that it is the duty of state to ensure maintenance of law and order so as to protect secular ethos and prevent ‘mobocracy.’
The Supreme Court also condemned recent incidents of lynching. The apex court ruled that lynching has to be dealt with as a special and separate offence, and recommends enactment of law in the regard.
The top court issued a strongly worded 45-page verdict and said “rising intolerance and growing polarisation”, which has led to the spate of such incidents, “cannot be permitted to ecome the normal way of life”. It added that the instances of lynching and mob violence were creeping threats which may gradually take the shape of a “Typhon-like monster”. The top court bench also passed a slew of directions to the government to provide “preventive, remedial and punitive measures” to deal with offences like mob violence and cow vigilantism.
“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’. The State cannot turn a deaf ear to the growing rumblings of its people,” the bench was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
In its previous hearing, the top court had ruled that state machinery responsible for keeping a check on all kind of vigilantism, including lynching in the name of cow protection. Led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the Supreme Court bench had said that vigilantism is a law and order issue and that each state has to be responsible for such acts.