Taking on the mob: On Rajasthan law against mob lynching

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By admin August 10, 2019 15:38

The Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019, makes Rajasthan the second state, after Manipur, to implement the suggestion of the Supreme Court to curb the rising intolerance and growing polarisation, with a law to criminalise the mob actions and instil a sense of fear. The article provides for an in-depth analysis of the current scenarios in India and necessity for such a bill to curb the mob violence.

What is meant by Lynching?

  • The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019, provides a definition for mob and lynching activity and also states the punishment provisions for the violence.

  • Accordingly, ‘mob’ is defined as a group of two or more individuals.

  • Whereas, lynching is defined as an act or series of acts of violence or those of aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or preplanned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation or ethnicity.

  • The definition of ‘lynching’ in the Rajasthan Bill closely resembles the one provided in the Manipur Law.

Provisions under the Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019:

  • The Bill makes mob lynching a cognisable, non-bailable offence with punishment of life imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh.

  • For any offence of assault by the mob, which has caused the victim a grievous suffering, provides a jail term upto 10 years and/or a fine of Rs. 25000 to Rs 3 Lakh.

  • In case of simple injuries to the victim, the Bill proposes imprisonment of about 7 years and a fine up to Rs. 1 Lakh.

  • The Bill seeks to punish for hatching a conspiracy of lynching or aiding, abetting or attempting by considering it as an offence in a same manner as of actually committing the offence of lynching.

  • A State Police Chief has been empowered through the Bill to appoint a state coordinator of the rank of Inspector General of Police to curb the lynching offences in the State with the coordination of district SP and DSPs.

  • Various other offences related to the lynching like obstructing legal processes, dissemination of offensive materials and propagation of hostile environment are enlisted in the Bill with provisions of jail term varying from three to five years.

  • A provision of compensation to victims by the State Government is also stipulated in the Bill which would be a part of the Rajasthan Victim Compensation Scheme.

  • The Bill also provides for a binding provision to rehabilitate the victims of mob lynching as a necessary measure.

Legislative provisions in other states:

  • Other states stepping towards the move are Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

  • While the Manipur, Rajasthan law and the UP draft bill are new, the proposed MP law is an amendment to the existing Madhya Pradesh Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Act, 2004, which is against cow slaughter.

Conclusion:

  • Though IPC and CrPC have ample provisions to deal with the cases of mob lynching, there is no any provision to punish a murderous collective.

  • The Supreme Court, after recent assault on the authority of the UP Government, which was a no less repugnant than a Moist attack, directed the legislation dealing with horrific lynching act.

Thus, such legislations on mobocracy and vigilantism will represent duty and responsibility of the State Governments and bind them to protect victims and witnesses and prevent a hostile environment in the State.

admin
By admin August 10, 2019 15:38