The West Bengal government has decided to table
the West Bengal Prevention of Lynching Bill, 2019 in the State Assembly.
It proposes three categories of punishment: a) maximum
three-year jail and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh if the act leads to the victim
“suffering hurt”; b) 10 years and up to Rs 3 lakh in case of “grievous hurt”;
and c) “rigorous imprisonment for life and fine not less than Rs 1 lakh and up
to Rs 5 lakh” in case of death.
The Bill also proposes a maximum one-year jail
term and a fine up to Rs 50,000 for those who spread or publish or communicate
“offensive material”. It also proposes a jail term of maximum of three years
and fine up to Rs 1 lakh for those who create “a hostile environment for a
person or a group of persons”.
The bill further states that the state will
provide protection to victims, who can also choose any advocate from the legal
aid panel under the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. The state will also
provide free medical treatment and provide compensation as per the Compensation
It states that cases of lynching will only be
investigated by police officers above the rank of inspector, except under
It also proposes to set up a special task force
with a state co-ordinator not below IG-rank and nodal officers to prevent
incidents of lynching.
Recently, the Rajasthan government had passed a
mob lynching law- Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019. Further, State
Law Commission in Uttar Pradesh drafted the UP Combating of Mob Lynching Bill,
2019, and submitted it to Chief Minister.