New Delhi: Even as the Centre stated on Friday that an empowered Group of Ministers (GoM) had been appointed to consider framing a law on mob violence, the Supreme Court warned states to strictly implement the directions issued in July to prevent cow vigilantism and granted a week to file the compliance report.
Taking note of the fact that only 11 out of 29 states had filed the compliance report, a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanw-ilkar and D.Y. Chand-rachud warned that it would direct the presence of the respective home secretaries if the defaulting states do not file the report within one week.
Acting on a petition filed by Tehseen S. Poonawalla and others the court in July suggested to Parliament to enact a law to make lynching a separate offence including the provision for compensation to victims. The court had then made it clear that mobs could not take the law into their hands and resort to lynching.
It said there can be no shadow of doubt that the authorities that are conferred with the responsibility to maintain law and order in the states have the principal obligation to see that vigilantism, be it cow vigilantism or any other vigilantism of any perception, does not take place.
Giving a series of directions, the court had said the states should designate a senior police officer, not below the rank of superintendent of police as nodal officer in each district, for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
“They shall constitute a special task force so as to procure intelligence reports about the people who are likely to commit such crimes or who are involved in spreading hate speeches, provocative statements and fake news,” the court said.
Senior counsel Indira Jaising also brought to the notice of the court that no action had been taken against the police for the Alwar lynching incident, which happened three days of the verdict. She asked why no departmental action except a transfer was taken against three of the police officers who had prioritised bringing the cows to the nearest 'gaushala' over taking the victim to the hospital, by reason of which he had succumbed to his injuries.
She also contended that the chargesheet in connection with the event has not been produced so far. ASG Tushar Mehta informed the bench that, in pursuance of the service rules, the SHO has been placed under suspension in contemplation of disciplinary proceedings while the constables have been transferred.
Furthermore, he submitted that three out of the four accused have been arrested, the investigation ongoing in respect of the fourth who is absconding. He said the chargesheet under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code should be filed on Friday itself....