Mob Lynching; A Dilemma to the Indian Legal System.
State Perspective on the Mob Rules
What is Mob lynching ?
The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019 defines the mob lynching.
The Bill defines a “mob” as a group of two or more individuals.
“Lynching” is described as an act or series of acts of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation and ethnicity.
In other words mob lynching is the violence which is cause by the large group of people . The violence such as committed against the human body or the property (either private or public). The mob thinks that they are doing right and punishing the wrongdoers and in that course they forget about the law and take the law into their own hands. Basically mob targets the people who are innocent on the grounds of rumours or misinformation.
State views on Mob rules:-
Bill against lynching introduced in the Assembly of Rajasthan
A bill against the lynching had been passed in the Assembly of Rajasthan with the motive to prevent to spread the hatred and the prevention of the mob lynching through the law.
- The convicted will be awarded with the ‘rigorous life imprisonment’ and fine upto 1 lakhs and 5 lakhs if the victim was dead.
- If the victim is hurted in that case the imprisonment will vary upto 10 years and fine between 25,000 to 3 lakh in case of grievous hurt.
- In the bill it was mentioned punishment for the dissemination of offensive material which is upto 1 to 3 years in prison. If someone is convicted for creating a hostile environment will be punished upto 5 years in prison and if someone is convicted for obstructing the the legal process will be be punished upto 5 years.
Official appointments and coordination described by the bill as:-
- According to the bill a state coordinator of the rank of inspector general shall be appointed by The state’s director general of police to prevent cases of lynching.
- Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) will assist the District Superintendent of Police to prevent mob violence and mob lynching.
- It was said there were many incidents which resulted to the loss of property and livelihood on the grounds of misinformation, suspicion, rumors. Hence the bill was one of the initiatives which were taken by the state government of Rajasthan to stop such violence.
Government views on Mob lynching:-
In the above discussion we saw how the state of Rajasthan took initiative to stop such violence .Let’s discuss what are the steps taken by the government on mob lynching
- Center will decide that what amendment should be done in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code in context of the mob lynching across the country.
- A letter from the Home Ministry has been sent to all the states and the union territory for asking the suggestion regarding mob lynching.
- [Section – 300,302,304(A), 331,339] of Indian Penal Code deals with the case of mob lynching and there were no special provisions were laid to deal with it.
- A committee has also formed under BPRD which looks into the reasonable amendments for IPC and Cr.PC. The government will enact according to the recommendation of the committee while keeping the guidelines lay down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in accord with mob lynching.
Judicial point of view on the mob rules:-
The Supreme Court asked Parliament to enact a new law which is effectively deals with mob lynching. SC laid down the 11 point guidelines which include preventive, remedial and punitive steps to deal with mobocracy.
Let’s discuss some case study on the Mobocracy.
As we all are aware of the recent incident of 16 April 2020 which took place in Palghar where three people two monks and his driver were brutally thrashed to deaths they were suspected as to be child-kidnappers and organ harvesters. But according to the investigation all the three people who was en-routed to Surat from Mumbai in order to attain a funeral.
The question is where the world is suffering from the pandemic situation of COVID-19 where everyone emphasizing social distancing in that scenario why such a large groups consisting of 200 people along with weapons (stick, axes, stones) were allowed to assemble.
As per the reports and the viral video of the incident which clarified that the incident of lynching of two monks’ and his driver at Palghar were took place in the presence of cop. In that viral video it was clearly seen one of the old monk clutching the hand of the cop for the help but later the monk was pulled by the mob and thrashed to death. The police was interrogated for the failure to prevent the incident- Police man said that he had fired a shot into the air to disappear the mob. But we all know that it wasn’t the competent act to prevent such ghastly act of lynching of two monks and a driver.
In accordance to the [Section-141] of IPC which deals with the “unlawful assembly”. Whereas [Section-129] of Cr.PC states “Dispersal of assembly by use of civil force.”[Section-32] of IPC states that the act done which is not illegal includes illegal omission. The police was legally bound to protect the people being thrashed. The action was taken by the authority as they arrested more than 100 people for alleged beating three men to death and the two SHO of that police station was suspended.
Few more case study on lynching:-
In the case of Arumugam Servai v. State of Tamil Nadu[¹] . If there is prior notice of the incident of lynching and if it’s failed to be prevented the Supreme Court direct the state to take disciplinary action against the concerned officials.
Further in the case of Tahseen s. Poonawala v. UOI.[²] The supreme Court laid down the preventive measures, remedies and preventive action in accordance to prevent the mob lynching .
In April 2017, Pehlu Khan from Haryana was brutally thrashed to death by a mob in Alwar district on the suspicious of smuggling of cow .
In a similar case, Rakbar Khan a mob of cow vigilantes trashed him in th district Alwar’s Ramgarh area.
As we all studied that the mob lynching is one of the evil of the society in which the innocent people are targeted by the large groups of people on the grounds of misinformation, rumors, sometimes hatred among the the mob. According to the Indian Culture where the mobs considered as the purest soul on the earth were trashed to death along with his driver who was en-rooted to Surat from Mumbai was allegedly suspect of the child kidnapping and organ harvesters.
In the other cases, the similar act was taken place where the innocent people who was already a convict in the eyes of mob and target by them on the alleged suspicious ground the mob who took the law in one’s hand and violating all the norms in the procedure of punishing the innocent one. Here are some questions which hits up the mind that who gave the right to the mob to take the law in one’s hand and violate the law and norm as well and trashed people or property, What are the reasons for the failure to prevent such kind of ghastly act of mobocracy, Do we need any specific law or such amendments in current sections of IPC and Cr.PC which deals with mob lynching.
Here I concluded that the act of targeting the innocent people, trashing them is equivalent to mocking the law and the norms. Somehow it also encourage the actual wrongdoers who lives among us. To prevent such kind of evil act there must be a specific harsh law. Nothing can compensate someone’s life, we have to take some serious steps to fight with the evil of the society i.e. mobocracy.
[¹] (2011) 6 SCC 405]
[²] (WP(C) No. 754/2016)
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