Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

SC seeks Data on action taken against Lynchings


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Mob violence and communal hatred


Central Idea

  • The Supreme Court has decided to assess the actions taken by the Union and States to address incidents of lynchings since its July 2018 judgment condemning these acts as mobocracy.
  • The court has directed State governments to provide year-wise data on complaints filed, FIRs registered, and court proceedings related to incidents of mob violence and lynchings.

Mob Lynching: A Backgrounder

  • Concerns over Vigilantism: The 2018 Supreme Court bench, addressed the growing issues of vigilantism, mob lynching, communal violence, and hate crimes.
  • State Responsibility: The court emphasized that states have the duty to prevent individuals or core groups from taking the law into their own hands, stressing that every citizen has the right to report law infractions to the police rather than resorting to vigilantism.
  • Affront to the Rule of Law: The court declared that lynching undermines the rule of law and the constitutional values, leading to anarchy and violence in society.

Supreme Court’s Observations

  • Prevention and Vigilance: The court stressed that authorities responsible for maintaining law and order must prevent vigilantism, including cow vigilantism, from occurring. Vigilante actions erode the legal institutions of the state and disrupt the constitutional order.
  • Rising Intolerance: The court expressed concern over rising intolerance and growing polarization, fueled by incidents of mob violence, emphasizing that such acts should not become the normal state of law and order in the country.
  • Creeping Threats: The court highlighted the dangers posed by lynching and mob violence, which could escalate into widespread incidents influenced by intolerance, misinformation, and the circulation of fake news.

Directive for Preventive and Remedial Measures

  • Designation of Nodal Officers: State governments must appoint senior police officers as Nodal Officers in each district to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
  • Identification of High-Incidence Areas: State governments should identify areas where mob violence and lynching have been reported.
  • Police Actions and FIR Registration: Police officers must disperse mobs using their authority under Section 129 of the CrPC, and FIRs must be promptly registered under Section 153A of the IPC.
  • Monitoring of Investigations: Nodal Officers have the responsibility to personally monitor the investigation of such offenses and ensure effective implementation.
  • Compensation Scheme: State governments should establish a victim compensation scheme for lynching and mob violence victims in line with Section 357A of the CrPC.
  • Designated Courts: Special designated courts or fast-track courts should handle cases related to lynching and mob violence in each district.

Directive to State Governments

  • Information Gathering: A Bench comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and Bela M. Trivedi has instructed State governments to compile comprehensive data on incidents of mob violence and lynchings.
  • Year-wise Data: The data should include information on complaints filed, FIRs registered, and challans submitted to the courts, highlighting the progress made each year.
  • Coordination with State Departments: The court suggested that the Ministry of Home Affairs hold meetings with relevant department heads of the State governments to obtain updates on the measures taken in response to the court’s 2018 judgment in the Tehseen Poonawala case.
  • Compliance with Court’s Directions: The court had previously directed the formation of Special Task Forces by the States to gather intelligence on hate speeches, mob violence, and lynchings.


  • The Supreme Court’s monitoring of preventive and remedial measures for mob lynching demonstrates the commitment to address this issue.
  • By directing the consolidation of data and urging compliance with the 2018 judgment, the court aims to hold the Union and State governments accountable for their actions.
  • These measures seek to curb vigilantism, protect the rule of law, and ensure justice for victims of mob violence and lynchings.

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