Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

Anti-Mob lynching Bills passed by States go unimplemented


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Mob lynching and the dysfunctions created

Bills passed against mob lynching in some states have not been implemented since lynching is not defined as a crime under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Why are the bills pending?

  • Most bills have been reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President.
  • The President has to go with the advice given by the Council of Ministers, in the case of such legislations, represented by the MHA.
  • The Union Home Ministry examines the State legislations on three grounds-
  1. Repugnancy with Central laws
  2. Deviation from national or central policy and
  3. Legal and constitutional validity

What is Mob Lynching?

  • Lynching is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group.
  • It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate a group.
  • Recent incident can be recalled from Pakistan where a Sri Lankan national was set ablaze over blasphemy charges.

Dealing with lynching in India

  • In 2017, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) collected data on mob lynching, hate crimes and cow vigilantism but it was not published and discontinued.
  • This is because, there is “no separate” definition for lynching under the IPC.
  • However, lynching incidents could be dealt with under Sections 300 and 302 of the IPC, pertaining to murder.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court asked Parliament to make lynching a separate offense.
  • Since then, the government is working to overhaul the IPC framed in 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to consider mob-lynching.

Why anti-lynching law is necessary?

  • Fills the void: It fills a void in our criminal jurisprudence.
  • Lawlessness: The Indian Penal Code has provisions for unlawful assembly, rioting, and murder but nothing that takes cognizance of a group of people coming together to kill (a lynch mob).
  • Rise in Lynching incidents: There has been a rise in lynching incidents in recent years.

Reason for the rise in lynchings

  • Impunity: The lynch mobs are confident of getting away with it. So far, the state has done little to shake that confidence.
  • Communalism: In the case of cow-linked lynchings, a lot depends on whether the incumbent in power considers it compatible with its political interests to crack down on such attacks.
  • Fake news: Another factor that gave rise to lynchings is the spread of fake news through social media platforms which incite a sudden wave of antagonism.
  • Alienation: With modernity, there is a growth of individualism and erosion of associational life. The sense of fraternity has been fading away due to this.
  • Unemployment: High Unemployment rates leave millions of youth unengaged.

Effect of lynching

(1) State

  • Violation of FR: It is against the values upheld in the constitution of India. Every individual have certain fundamental rights any violence would be a curtailment of this right.
  • Law and order crisis: Lynchings have led to degrading regard to law and order.

(2) Economy

  • Reputation damage: Many International agencies warned India against mob lynching incidents. This impacts both foreign and domestic investment thereby adversely affecting sovereign ratings.
  • Impact on migration patterns: It directly hampers internal migration which in turn affects economy.
  • Damage of public property: Large resources deployed to tackle such menaces induces extra burden on state-exchequer.

(3) Society

  • Fear of radicalization: Radical and extremist organizations such as ISIS etc could take leverage of the atmosphere created by such incidents.
  • Communal disharmony: This impact solidarity of society and idea of Unity in diversity. This create an atmosphere of majority v/s minority.
  • Intolerance: It could aggravate caste, class and communal hatred. Such acts shows loss of tolerance in society and people are being swayed by emotions, prejudices etc.

Way forward

  • States should be more vigilant and proactive in flagging rumors using social media and other platforms.
  • Some states are doing it, others need to emulate these examples.
  • The more proactive the administration is in this regard, the stronger a deterrent it will be.
  • There is also a need for a special court for the trial of mob violence.


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