New Delhi, Aug 29: A panel of senior government officers, which deliberated on the possibility of enacting a new law to check incidents of lynching, has submitted its report to a Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, officials said.
The committee of secretaries, headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, held consultations with a cross-section of society and other stakeholders before submitting its report to the GoM. The GoM will now submit its recommendations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a final decision, a home ministry official said. Though the final outcome of the deliberations of the committee of secretaries is not known immediately, but it is believed they have suggest for tightening the law by inserting clauses in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure through parliamentary approval.
The panel report will now be discussed by the GoM whose members are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot. The home minister is head of the GoM. The move came after nearly 40 people were lynched in nine states in the past one year. Last month, the Home Ministry issued advisories to states and Union territories following Supreme Court's directives to check incidents of lynching.
The Centre asked them to appoint an officer in each district at the level of Superintendent of Police, set up a special task force to gather intelligence, and closely monitor social media contents to prevent mob attacks on suspicion of being child-lifters or cattle smugglers. In its communique to states and UTs, the ministry had said incidents of violence and lynching by mobs in some parts of the country fuelled by various kinds of rumours and unverified news such as child lifting, theft, cattle smuggling etc, are a matter of serious concerns. Such instances of persons taking the law in their hands run against the basic tenets of the rule of law, it said.
"All state governments, UT administrations and their law enforcement agencies are requested to implement the directions of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit," it said.