The Article ‘Anti-Mob Lynching Bills’ is an extensive study about the legislative steps which have been taken to prevent lynching. Lynching is an unjustified hanging death. Lynching is unethical and is also known as a hate crime. The Author has explained various provisions of different laws like the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Penal Code, etc., in… Read More »

The Article ‘Anti-Mob Lynching Bills’ is an extensive study about the legislative steps which have been taken to prevent lynching. Lynching is an unjustified hanging death. Lynching is unethical and is also known as a hate crime. The Author has explained various provisions of different laws like the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Penal Code, etc., in order to prevent lynching situations. Even the Supreme Court guidelines have been enunciated so that legislature can take effective steps to curb lynching.

The Article covers the Rajasthan Protection bill that laid emphasis on mob lynching and honour killing as illegal acts. The Author urges stringent enactment so that this crime can be put to an end.

Introduction: Anti-Mob Lynching Bills

No one knows for certain when or why the term “lynch” was first used, but it certainly occurred during the American Revolution. One example is the phrase “Lynch Law,” which refers to an unjust penalty imposed without a trial. During this time, it was often believed that Charles Lynch and William Lynch coined the term.

A lynching is an unjustified hanging death that occurs when a crowd murders an individual without involving the police or the courts. As a result, “self-defense” has evolved to refer to an act or series of acts committed by a group of individuals who disobey the law and do illegal things to another person or group in order to punish themselves outside of the court system. In India, ethnic conflicts frequently result in the lynching of people accused of belonging to the same community. Muslims and Dalits in India have been murdered by cow vigilantes since 2014.

In India, reports of kidnapping and organ harvesting that spread via the instant messaging program WhatsApp have also led to violence and murders. There have also been lynchings in India over WhatsApp.

In India, large-scale mob violence, vigilantism, and mass panics occur frequently, but they tend to be localized. Indian WhatsApp lynchings that occurred in 2017 and 2018 and were broadcast live throughout the nation sowed panic and disseminated false information, leading to an increase in violence. A video of a lynching in the Indian state of Karnataka has been linked to lynchings in the state of Maharashtra.

What is it like to be murdered by a mob?

Lynching, or the execution of a person by hanging, is unethical. It would be difficult for a single attacker to succeed. A mob executes a lynching victim by hanging him from a tree without a trial.

As a result, they are known as hate crimes. The extended term now encompasses violence perpetrated by a group of individuals against a person or group of individuals whom the group believes has committed an offence. They disregard the rule of law by employing their own techniques.

A group of individuals determined the causes of lynchings in India. While cow vigilantes gain strength, the political class remains silent. There have been allegations of young children stealing and selling food from supermarkets. Sexual assault is a serious offence that must be addressed seriously because the parties involved have a history of animosity.

Laws on Mob Lynching

Existing laws that could be utilized in lynching situations:

1. Section 129 of CrPC states:

Any Executive Magistrate or officer in command of a police station, or if there is no officer in charge, any police officer with at least the rank of sub-inspector, may order an illegal gathering or a gathering of five or more individuals who are likely to disrupt public peace to disperse.

The gathering participants must then disperse. Any Executive Magistrate or a police officer designated in subsection (1) may use force to disperse the group and, if necessary, arrest and detain the individuals present.

2. Section 302 of IPC states:

In addition to a fine, it prescribes punishment to the death penalty or life in jail.

3. Section 304 of IPC states:

It prescribes punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. It prescribes imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine.

Guidelines established by the Supreme Court

The three-judge panel led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra urged Parliament to create new legislation to address the problems produced by vigilante squads but stated that the existing guidelines would remain in effect until new laws are enacted.

These guidelines are mentioned below:

  • The district’s nodal officer must be a senior police officer with a minimum rank of the police superintendent. With the assistance of an officer with the rank of DSP, these officers will organize a task team to prevent mob violence and lynching. The task force will determine who is likely to commit such atrocities by determining who transmits hate speech, provocative statements, and fake news.
  • It is crucial that state officials quickly determine which districts, subdivisions, and villages have been accused of lynching and mob violence in the preceding few months. Three weeks following the date of the judgment, the identifying procedure should be completed.
  • Regular meetings would be held between the officer in charge, local intelligence units, and station house officers to discuss vigilantism and mob violence.
  • Either the director-general of police or the secretary of the home department shall conduct periodic reviews of all nodal authorities and state police intelligence chiefs (at least once a quarter).
  • All police officers will be responsible for dispersing violent or lynch mobs.
  • The DGP will explain in a letter to the SPs why police patrols are conducted in high-risk locations.
  • The federal and state governments should communicate via all means of media, including the websites of the home department and state police, that lynching and mob violence will have severe repercussions.
  • According to Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, “promoting hate among people” is a crime in India punishable by up to five years in prison (IPC).

Remedial Actions

  • If the local police learn about a lynching or other act of mob violence, the station responsible for that area must immediately file a complaint with the state police.
  • The station house officer is responsible for notifying the victim’s relatives and ensuring that they are no longer being harassed.
  • The coordinating officer will be responsible for ensuring that the investigation into these offences is completed expeditiously and that charges are filed within the legal deadline.
  • There will be independent tribunals in each area to hear any lynching and mob violence cases. Every day, these courts will hear cases. If possible, the experiment should be concluded as soon as possible.

Deterrent Punishment

  • Judges must virtually always impose the harshest sentence permitted by the IPC.
  • If either the witness or the prosecutor requests that the court protect and conceal the witness’s name and address, the court may act as it deems appropriate.

In India, mob lynchings are unlawful, but there is no nationwide rule prohibiting them. In 2017, K.T.S. Tulsi introduced a drought-related bill in the Rajya Sabha. In contrast, the bill has never been discussed or passed.

Several laws have been enacted to prevent lynching:

1. P. combating of mob lynching bill

Based on the data we have, there were fifty documented instances of mob violence in Uttar Pradesh between 2012 and 2019. Only eleven persons out of the rumoured fifty have died. At least 25 of these attacks were serious, with some perpetrated by “cow vigilantes” (Gau-Rakshak). The Uttar Pradesh Law Commission intends to pass legislation that will make mob lynching criminals with up to life in jail.

Procedures for retribution (retd.) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was informed by the head of the Commission, AN Mittal, of their findings of mob lynching and a draught law.

The Commission stated that the current laws are insufficient to prevent lynchings and that new laws should be enacted. It stated that anyone found guilty of the offence would face seven years to life in jail.

The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill

The Rajasthan Legislative Assembly made mob lynching and “honour killings” illegal in the state on August 6, 2019.

  • If the victim suffered just minor injuries, the perpetrator might face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh.
  • If someone is convicted of mob violence or gravely injuring a victim, they could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 3 lakhs.
  • According to the Rajasthan Protection Against Lynching Bill of 2019, if a victim dies as a result of a mob lynching, those convicted will face life in jail and a fine between Rs. 1 and 5 lakh.

The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill

As part of the legislation, “nodal officers” will be responsible for “monitoring and organizing the prevention of lynching.” If you assault and harm someone, you could be sentenced to life in jail. This Act may be utilized to establish the West Bengal Lynching Compensation Scheme, according to the Bill, which defines terms such as “lynching” and “mob.”

Conclusion

As a sort of hate crime, lynching is committed by an enraged mob. The people should have compassion for these criminals rather than apathy toward them. In states with a high incidence rate, the government should move expeditiously to address this problem. Due to the fact that lynching and honour killings are not directly addressed in the IPC, unique rules are necessary to combat them. Provisions 326A and 326B, which deal with acid attacks, are new and independent sections that should be added to the IPC if necessary. Due to this carelessness, this crime has gone unpunished for such a long time. Strong legal procedures and prompt prosecutions would protect society from mob lynching situations.


References

[1] Lynching, Available Here

[2] SC lays down guidelines to curb lynching, Available Here

[3] West Bengal assembly passes bill against mob assault, lynching, Available Here

[4] Anti-mob lynching bills passed by 4 Assemblies at various levels of non-implementation, Available Here

[5] Jharkhand governor returns anti-lynching bill, asks state to revisit the definition of ‘mob’, Available Here


Updated On 2022-06-04T05:06:02+05:30
Vartika Kulshrestha

Vartika Kulshrestha

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