"Cow Vigilantism Unacceptable, Don't Link Victims To Religion": Top Court

The Supreme Court also warned against linking mob violence to religion or caste and said "a victim is a victim"

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Nobody can take law into their own hands, said the top court.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Supreme Court warned against linking mob violence to religion or caste
  2. Top court reserved verdict on compensation to victims
  3. Petition in the top court called for relief from cow vigilantism

Cow vigilantism is not acceptable and it's for the states to prevent such incidents, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said today. The Supreme Court also warned against linking mob violence to religion or caste and said "a victim is a victim".

"Nobody can take law into their own hands. It is the obligation of the state's to see these incidents are prevented," said a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice.

The top court has reserved its verdict on compensation to victims and fixing responsibility on cow vigilantism, which it observed was actually mob violence.

A petition by Tushar Gandhi calls for action against cow vigilantism. He has been pursuing the issue since last year. Besides Mr Gandhi, Congress's Tehseen Poonawalla had also filed a similar petition.

In September last year, the Supreme Court had directed all 29 states and seven union territories (UTs) to take steps to stop violence in the name of cow protection and asked for appointment of officers who would keep an eye out on "vigilante groups".

Chief Justice Misra had also asked for compliance reports, saying "nobody can wash off their hands (from their duty)".

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for Tushar Gandhi, said the central government should be directed to frame a national policy on checking violence in the name of the cow.

As the centre pleaded that law and order was a state subject, judges asked whether under the Constitution, it was responsible for asking states to crack down on cow vigilantism.

Ms Jaising pointed out that there were several judgements which make compensation mandatory to the victims of such crimes, but the families had yet to receive any.



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