In an apparent effort to check incidents of mob assault and lynching, the West Bengal government is planning to introduce a Bill in the Assembly to check these incidents in future. Sources told Zee Media that Mamata Banerjee government is planning to table West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 in the House on August 30.
The legislation will seek a jail term, which may vary from three years to life, for those involved in assaulting and injuring a victim.
a) In case of death due to mob lynching, the accused would be punished with rigorous life imprisonment and fine up to ₹5 lakh.
b) In case of serious injuries due to mob lynching, the accused will be punished with jail term of 10 years and fine ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 3 lakh.
c) In case of injuries due to mob lynching, the accused will be punished with jail term of 3 years and fine up to a maximum of 1 lakh.
It is to be noted that on July 17, 2018, the Supreme Court had advised all states to introduce law on mob lynching. Rajasthan had acted as per the SC's advise and had then introduced a law against mob lynching.
It may be recalled that 49 celebrities have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July expressing serious over incidents of lynching in the country. The celebrities had demanded strict action against those found responsible for the crime.
Legendary filmmaker Shyam Benegal, film directors Anurag Kashyap and Mani Ratnam, actress Konkona Sen Sharma, singer Shubha Mudgal and historian Ramchandra Guha were among those who had written to the PM Modi.
The celebrities had demanded that “lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately”. They had also claimed that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has been turned into “a provocative war cry”, leading to law and order problems on various occasions.
However, reacting to their letter, the government had said that there is no factual basis for claiming that ''India is losing the image of being a secular and tolerant nation.''