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-
- Repugnancy with Central laws
- Deviation from national or central policy and
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.