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‘Intolerance Against Violence’, New Law against Mobocracy Recommended: Supreme Court

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On Tuesday, the Parliament was asked by the Supreme Court that new penal provision to deal with incidents of vigilantism should be considered. Bar and Bench reported “mobocracy” is something, which cannot be allowed in the society. The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, who is the head of the bench decried cases of lynching and cow vigilantism. A completely barbaric form of political expression, public lynching is something which takes over civic spaces in India.

The Supreme Court said that citizens cannot take the law into their own hands, nor they can become law unto themselves. Protection of secular ethos, prevention of Mobocracy and maintenance of law and order is the duty of the state to ensure. A batch of petitions was heard by the bench, including one filed by the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi- Tarun Gandhi- another by a social activist Tehseen Poonawalla, seeking to restrict the violence by cow vigilante groups.

Cow vigilante violence is something which has increased marginally after the Modi government came into  power. In various states the cow protection groups see themselves as someone who is protecting the cow or upholding the law which bans cow slaughter. The Supreme Court said that maintaining inclusive social order and prevention of mobacracy is the duty of the State to ensure.

Earlier in July, the SC stated that it was up to the states to prevent cow vigilantism incidents. The SC set the matter for further hearing on August 28, 2018.

In September 2017, the Centre and state governments were directed by the SC to take emergency steps to control incidents of cow vigilantism. The state was asked by the court to appoint a senior police official, who would serve as a nodal officer  to ensure that such incidents do not take place in each district.