Committee to suggest necessary amendments in IPC, CrPC to curb mob lynching

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News: Union Home Minister has said in Rajya Sabha that the government has set up a committee to suggest necessary amendments in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to deal with mob lynching.

Facts:

Mob Lynching: Mob Lynching means killing of someone by a mob for an alleged offence without following any principles of jurisprudence or due process of law.

Instances of Mob Lynching in India:

  • According to a report from Human Rights Watch, 44 people were lynched in India between May 2015 and December 2018.
  • Note: National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which compiles data on crime rates, does not maintain specific data on lynching incidents in India.
  • There is no separate definition for mob lynching under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Lynching incidents can be dealt with under Section 300 and 302 of IPC.

Supreme Court Directions:

  • The Supreme Court in 2018 in the case of Tehseen S. Poonawalla vs. Union of India had recommended the central government to enact legislation to create a separate offence for lynching.
  • The SC provided 11 directions, including preventive, remedial and punitive steps to combat mob lynching incidents.

Initiatives by States:

Manipur:

  • Manipur had passed Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Ordinance, 2018. It calls for rigorous life term imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if the crime results in the death of the victim.

West Bengal:

  • The West Bengal Assembly has passed the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019
  • The bill proposes “rigorous imprisonment for life and fine not less than Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh” in case of death of the victim.

Rajasthan:

  • The Rajasthan Assembly has passed Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019.
  • It provides for life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh to convicts in cases of mob lynching involving the victim’s death.

Maharashtra:

  • Maharashtra Government has formulated a policy that provides compensation between ₹2 lakh to ₹3 lakh which could be increased to ₹10 lakh in special cases of lynching. It is in addition to the existing scheme for victims of communal violence who get ₹5 lakh as compensation.

Civil Society Initiatives:

  •  ‘NOT IN MY NAME’ campaign: It was launched in 2017 to protest against the cow vigilantism.
  •  National Campaign against Mob Lynching (NCAML):  It is also known as ‘Masuka’, short for Manav Suraksha Kanoon (law to protect humans). It seeks to make lynching a non-bailable offence.