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The Supreme Court today urged the Parliament to enact a separate law to deal with the lynching.
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud also passed a slew of directions to be implemented by the States and Central government to ensure that law and order is maintained and people are prevented from taking the law into their hands.
Citizens cannot take the law into their hands or become law unto themselves, the Court said.
It is the duty of the States to ensure that law and order is maintained so as to protect the secular ethos and Constitutional values, the Court ruled while stressing on the need to contain mobocracy.
Tehseen Poonawalla had petitioned the Supreme Court to ensure a strict crackdown on cow vigilantes taking matters into their own hands and resorting to violence against perceived oppressors of the bovine species.
In the petition, Poonawalla had cited numerous instances of attacks by cow protection groups on Dalits, minorities and other people in the “name of protection of cow and other bovine species”.
Poonawalla had contended that the,
“menace caused by the so called Cow Protection Groups is spreading fast to every nook and corner of the Country and is creating disharmony among various communities and castes.”
Moreover, it was alleged that the police and other law enforcement agencies are either complicit with the cow vigilantes or remain mute spectators. Contending violation of Articles 21 and 19(1)(g), Poonawalla had prayed for the following:
“Issue a writ of Mandamus directing the Respondent State Governments to take immediate and necessary actions against the Cow Protection Groups indulging in violence;
Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or direction to remove the violent content from the Social Media uploaded and hosted by these Cow Protection Groups;
Issue a writ of certiorari or any other writ or direction to hold Section 12 of the Gujarat Animal Prevention Act, 1954, Section 13 of Maharashtra Animal Prevention Act, 1976, Section 15 of Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 as Unconstitutional.”
Read the judgment: