Supreme Court to hear plea on cow vigilante mob violence against Muslimstext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea seeking directions to states to take immediate action to effectively deal with incidents of lynching and mob violence against Muslims by cow vigilantes.
The bench of Justices BR Gavai and JB Pardiwala issued notices to the Centre and the Director Generals of Police (DGPs) of Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana, seeking their responses to the plea.
The plea is filed by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), a women's organisation linked to the Communist Party of India. The NFIW, through advocates Sumita Hazarika and Rashmi Singh, filed the plea, seeking urgent intervention from the apex court due to the "alarming" rise in cases of lynching and mob violence targeting Muslims despite clear guidelines and directions issued by the Supreme Court in its 2018 verdict on cow vigilantism.
The 2018 verdict issued a set of guidelines to curb cow vigilantism, which often targeted Muslims. However, the petition highlights that despite these guidelines, incidents of mob violence against the Muslim community have continued to rise, and the states have failed to take necessary action against the perpetrators.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing NFIW, expressed concern over the matter being referred to high courts for adjudication, stating that seeking remedies from various high courts would delay justice for the victims. He highlighted the need for immediate action, citing the compensation of two lakhs after ten years for victims despite the 2018 verdict in the Tehseen Poonawalla case.
The PIL specifically referred to recent incidents of mob violence, including the killing of a 55-year-old truck driver named Jaharuddin in Bihar's Saran district on suspicion of carrying beef, as well as two similar incidents in Maharashtra's Nashik.
The plea seeks a writ of mandamus to the concerned state authorities, directing them to take immediate action in line with the findings and directions of the 2018 verdict to effectively contain and address incidents of mob violence against Muslims. It also calls for the Centre to provide a minimum uniform amount to the victims of such violence, in addition to compensation determined by the respective states, considering factors like bodily injury, psychological injury, loss of earnings, legal and medical expenses, and more.
"The positive duty of the State is to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals and the primary responsibility of the State is to foster a secular, pluralistic, and multiculturalist social order," said the PIL.
The Supreme Court's decision to hear the plea is expected to address the rising concern over cow vigilantism and mob violence, ensuring the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms for all individuals in the country.