Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features of the bill.
For Mains: Need for a legislation on lynching, Supreme Court guidelines.
Context: Rajasthan Assembly Passes Anti-Lynching Bill.
Key features of the bill:
“Mob”– a group of two or more individuals.
“Lynching“- “an act or series of acts of violence or those of aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or preplanned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation or ethnicity”.
For the offence of an assault by mob, leading to the victim suffering grievous hurts, the Bill provides for jail terms up to 10 years and a fine of Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 3 lakh.
In cases of the victims suffering simple injuries, the Bill proposes imprisonment up to seven years and a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh.
For hatching a conspiracy of lynching or aiding, abetting or attempting such an offence, the Bill seeks to punish the offenders in the same manner as if he actually committed the offence of lynching.
The Bill empowers the state police chief to appoint a state coordinator of the rank of inspector general of police to prevent the incidents of lynching in the state with the district superintendents of police acting as the district’s coordinator, to be assisted by a deputy superintendents of police, for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
The Bill also enlists various other offences related to the lynching such as dissemination of offensive materials, propagation of hostile environment and obstructing legal processes, which would be punishable with jail terms varying from three to five years.
- Compensation and rehabilitation:
The Bill also stipulates the provision of compensation to victims by the state government as per the Rajasthan Victim Compensation Scheme.
It also binds the state government to take necessary measures to rehabilitate the victims of mob lynching, suffering displacements from their native places.
- While the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code have provisions to deal with the cases of mob lynching incidents, they are not adequate. Accordingly, the government has brought the Bill to provide for stricter punishment to curb such incidents.
- After 2014, 86% cases of mob lynching reported in the country happened in Rajasthan.
- Legislation fixes command responsibility for communal incidents. It recognises that targeted communal violence disproportionately victimises minorities and it creates a mechanism to insulate investigations of communal violence from political interference.
- There shall be a “separate offence” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob violence.
- The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
- The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions and villageswhere instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.
- The nodal officersshall bring to the notice of the DGP about any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence related issues.
- Every police officer shall ensure to disperse the mob that has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.
- Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platformsabout the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob violence.
- Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.
- The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation schemein the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC within one month from the date of this judgment.
- If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to fulfill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate negligence.
Sources: the Hindu.