Thanks To SC - Centre Sets Up Committee And GoM To Formulate Measures To Curb Lynching; Directs States To Implement SC Judgment

Thanks To SC - Centre Sets Up Committee And GoM To Formulate Measures To Curb Lynching; Directs States To Implement SC Judgment

The Centre has set up a high-level committee chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, to formulate appropriate measures to address mob violence and lynching in the country. The committee will also comprise of the Secretaries of Department of Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Legislative Department, and Social Justice and Empowerment. This committee is expected to submit its recommendations to the Government within four weeks.

Another Group of Ministers (GOM) headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been appointed, to consider the recommendations put forth by the high-level committee. The GOM also comprises of External Affairs Minister, Road Transport and Highways Minister, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister, Law & Justice Minister, and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister. The GOM will submit its recommendations to the Prime Minister.

Additionally, the Centre has issued an advisory to the States and Union Territories, directing them to implement the directions issued by the Supreme Court on July 17. A detailed report on the action taken in the matter has been directed to be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs at the earliest.

The Advisory states, "As per the Constitutional scheme, 'Police' and 'Public Order' are State subjects. State Governments are responsible for controlling crime, maintaining law and order, and protecting the life and property of the citizens. Accordingly, effective measures should be taken by State Governments and UT Administrations to prevent violence and lynching by mobs and to afford equal protection of the law to all citizens irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Action should be taken as per law against perpetrators of violence."

The Centre's move comes almost a week after the Supreme Court asserted in so many words that "the horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become a new norm in the country". The Apex Court had also recommended that the Parliament may create a special law against lynching, asserting that “fear of law and veneration for the command of law constitute the foundation of a civilized society”.

The Court had further issued a slew of preventive, remedial and punitive measures to be taken by the Centre and the States for curbing mob violence and lynching. However, the Supreme Court has already been approached in an instance of alleged contempt by the State of Rajasthan.

The incident relates to a Muslim man, Rakbar Khan, who was attacked by a group of vigilantes in Rajasthan’s Alwar on the allegation of having purchased two cows for slaughter. He, subsequently, succumbed to his injuries.

A contempt petition was then moved by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising on Monday, alleging that the Rajasthan Government was not complying with the Supreme Court judgment. The matter was mentioned on Monday before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who directed the contempt petition to be taken up with the main matter. The contempt plea is therefore now scheduled for hearing on August 20.

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