Enact law to curb cow vigilantism: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday condemned mob lynching incidents across the country and asked the Parliament to enact a law to combat the menace of cow vigilantism that threatens rule of law and the country’s social fabric.

“No citizen can take law into their own hands. In case of fear and anarchy, the state has to act positively. Violence can’t be allowed,” said apex court during the hearing.

The court will next hear the matter on August 28.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on July 3 reserved its verdict on pleas by social activist Tehseen Poonawalla and Thushar Gandhi, who prayed to the court to initiate contempt against states that failed to take measures to combat cow vigilantism.

The bench had also termed cow vigilantism as ‘unacceptable’ and stated that mob lynching is ‘beyond law and order problem’.

Tushar had also filed a contempt plea against some States, accusing them of not enforcing the earlier orders of the court.

Article 256 of the Constitution, which spells the obligation of States and the Union, provides that the Centre could give necessary directions to the States in a given situation, but the Centre had said it could issue advisories to the states as law and order was a state subject.

The apex court had in September last year, directed all the state governments and union territories to take active steps to put a full stop to the violence in the name of cow protection and asked them to designate special officers who would keep a strong vigil on the ‘vigilante groups’.

Th judgment came on a petition seeking the apex court’s intervention to curb the incidents of violence by the vigilante groups across the country.