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Institutional Mechanism to Curb Mob Lynching

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Increasingly, gruesome mob lynchings are reported from various parts of India. A huge number of innocent people lost their lives because of this madness. The governments are failed to take effective measures to curb such incidents amidst the widening reach of the social media. Though such issues are discussed and deliberated in the apex institutions like the Supreme Court and Indian Parliament.

In order to formulate appropriate measures to address the situation, the Union Government has set up a high-level committee chaired by the Union Home Secretary to deliberate on the matter and make recommendations. The Secretary, Department of Justice, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Secretary, Legislative Department and Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment are the members of the committee. The committee will submit its recommendations to the Government within four weeks.

The Union Government has further decided to constitute a Group of Ministers headed by the Union Home Minister to consider the recommendations of the high-level committee. The Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Minister of Law & Justice and Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment are the members of Group of Ministers. The Group of Ministers will submit their recommendations to the Prime Minister.

As the press communiqué of the Ministry of Home Affairs stated,  the Union Government is concerned at the incidents of violence by mobs in some parts of the country. The government has already condemned such incidents and made its stand clear in the Parliament that it is committed to upholding the rule of law and adopting effective measures to curb such incidents, as the press release stated.

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. They are empowered to enact and enforce laws to curb crime in their jurisdiction.

Accordingly, Ministry of Home Affairs has, from time to time, issued advisories to States/UTs for maintenance of public order and prevention of crime in their areas of jurisdiction. An advisory on addressing the issue of lynching by a mob on suspicion of child lifting was issued on 04.07.2018. Earlier, an advisory was issued on 09.08.2016 on disturbances by miscreants in the name of protection of cow.

It is worthwhile to mention that such decision came after the Supreme Court’s the recent directions on the issue of mob violence. The government has issued an advisory to State Governments urging them to take effective measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching and to take stringent action as per law. The State Governments have been advised to implement the directions issued in the matter by the Supreme Court on July 17, 2018.

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