NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that mob lynching, whether it is related to cow vigilantism or child lifting rumours, is a crime. It also put the onus on the states to ensure that such cases of violence do not take place.
The apex court made the observation while hearing pleas seeking directions to formulate guidelines to curb mob violence. The Centre submitted that mob lynching is a law and order problem and the court may deal with the state governments if they are not following its order.
Observing that no one can take law into their hands, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said each state needs to be responsible.
The three-judge bench said it will pass an order on the pleas.
Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha said the Centre was alive to the situation and trying to deal with it. He said the main concern was maintaining law and order.
The bench said nobody can take the law into their hands and the onus was on the state governments to prevent such incidents.
On September 6 last year, the apex court had asked all the states to take stern measures to stop violence in the name of cow protection, including appointing of senior police officers as nodal officer in every district within a week and acting promptly to check cow vigilantes from behaving like they are "law unto themselves".
The apex court had sought a response from Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments on a plea seeking contempt action for not following its order to take stern steps to stop violence in the name of cow vigilantism.