Putting the onus on the states to check cow vigilantism, the Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on pleas seeking directions to formulate guidelines to curb such violence, saying no one can take law into their hands.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said this was a law and order issue and each state has to be responsible.
The bench said it will pass an order on the pleas giving out guidelines to states to deal with the issue.
The bench observed that the instances of vigilantism are not confined to any particular motive ( cow vigilantism or child lifting rumours) but are actually mob violence, which is a crime, ANI reported.
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, which is a state subject.
Following this, the bench noted that nobody can take law into their hands and the onus was on the state governments to prevent such incidents.
"This kind of incidents cannot occur. It can’t be accepted in remotest sense. It is the oligation of states to ensure that such incidents do not occur," The Indian Express quoted the Supreme Court as saying.
On 6 September 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 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.
The contempt petition has been filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, saying the three states have not complied with the top court order of 6 September last year.
Besides this, Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla had filed a plea in the Supreme Court in 2014, seeking action against cow vigilantes who were allegedly indulging in violence and committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities.
Poonawalla, in his plea, said violence committed by these 'gau raksha' groups has risen to such proportions that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared them as people who are "destroying the society".
The plea also alleged that these groups were committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities in the name of protection of cows and other bovines and they needed to be "regulated and banned in the interest of social harmony, public morality and law and order in the country".
"The menace caused by the so-called cow protection groups is spreading fast to every nook and corner of the country and is creating disharmony among various communities and castes," the petition said.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jul 03, 2018 14:21:23 IST