Don’t be selective: SC warns petitioners over mob lynching and cow vigilantism plea | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked petitioners, who had moved the court to ensure action in incidents of mob lynching and cow vigilantism, not to be selective about which cases they choose to highlight before the top court.
The directive came on a plea filed by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), an organisation linked to the Communist Party of India, urging states to adhere to a 2018 Supreme Court verdict aimed at effectively addressing incidents of lynching and mob violence against Muslims by cow vigilantes.
The bench — comprising Justices BR Gavai, Aravind Kumar, and Sandeep Mehta — asked advocate Nizam Pasha, representing NFIW, that all incidents should be mentioned in the petition and not selectively chosen from particular states.
“You have to take all the incidents in the petition, we want to be sure that you’re not selective,” Justice Aravind Kumar asked Pasha.

What about Kanhaiya Lal case?: SC

Justice Kumar asked Pasha whether Kanhaiya Lal’s murder case was mentioned in the petition.
Confused about the mention of the case, Pasha assured the court the incident would be mentioned in the petition if not mentioned, Live Law reported.
Pasha assured the court that he is not selective in highlighting only certain incidents but would mention the incident of Kanhaiya Lal in the petition too.
After hearing that Kanhaiya Lal’s mob lynching incident is not mentioned by Pasha in the petition, senior advocate Archana Pathak Dave (for the State of Gujarat) alleged the petition was religiously biased stating that the petition concerned only Muslims and not other communities, said a report by Live Law.
“That incident (Kanhaiya Lal’s murder) was not mob lynching otherwise also. Let’s not go by religion or caste. It is only allegation of mob lynching, action taken,” Justice Mehta told Dave.

SC seeks updates from states on measures against mob lynching and cow vigilantism

The top court also asked the state government to respond within six weeks regarding actions taken in cases of mob lynching and cow vigilantism.
“We find that most of the states have not filed their reply affidavits to the writ petition giving instances of mob lynching. It was expected of the states to at least respond to what action has been taken in such cases. We grant six weeks to the states who have not filed their replies and also give details of steps taken by them in such cases,” the bench ordered.
During the proceedings, advocate Pasha highlighted an alleged incident of mob lynching in Madhya Pradesh, where the victims were charged with cow slaughter. The bench asked, “Are you trying to save someone? How can you register FIR for cow slaughter without even chemical analysis.”
Pasha pointed out that the same thing happened in Haryana where a case for transporting beef was registered but not mob lynching.
“The states are denying that there were any incident of mob lynching and FIRs are being registered for cow slaughter against the victims. Only two states Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have filed their affidavit on incidents pointed out in the writ petition and interlocutory applications but other states have not filed any affidavit,” he submitted.
Justice Kumar urged that incidents mentioned in the petitions should not be restricted to specific states or religions but should encompass all relevant occurrences. Meanwhile, Senior advocate Archana Pathak Dave emphasized that the relief sought should not be specific to any religion but should apply universally.
In response, the bench asked Dave to observe restraint in her submissions, and said, “Let’s not go into the incidents based on religion. We should focus on the larger cause.”
The top court posted the matter for hearing after summer vacation and ordered that states should file their replies on the steps taken to check mob lynching.
On July 28, last year, the top court agreed to hear a plea that sought urgent intervention of the apex court given the “alarming” rise in cases of lynching and mob violence targeting Muslims despite clear guidelines and directions issued by the top court in 2018 concerning cow vigilantes.
“In view of the alarming rise in cases of lynching and mob violence against the Muslim community, the petitioner is seeking a writ in the nature of mandamus to the concerned State authorities to take immediate action in terms of the findings and directions of this court in Tehseen Poonawalla so as to effectively contain and deal with the same,” the plea said.
In its 2018 verdict, the top court held the states have the principal obligation to see to it that vigilantism, be it cow vigilantism or any other vigilantism of any perception, does not take place, and issued guidelines to be adopted by the authorities to deal with such incidents.
(With inputs from agency)

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