Amid criticism over the rising cases of mob lynching in the country, the government is considering the possibility of amending the Indian Penal Code to define ‘mob lynching’ as a penal offence, a senior government functionary told PTI.
Another option being considered is to draft a model law that states can adopt to prevent incidents of mob lynching, PTI reported. “Everything is in the preliminary stage as the entire Supreme Court order asking the Centre to come up with a new law has to be examined,” he said.
If the IPC is amended, the government will not have to bring a stand-alone law on mob lynching. If the burden of proof to prove innocence is put on the accused, then certain sections of the CrPC and the Indian Evidence Act would also require amendments, the functionary said.
He said it will take several days before the government firms up its stand. The government may also further strengthen the framework relating to social media to ensure that rumours which may lead to such incidents are checked.
Several cases of lynching and mob violence have been reported from across the country in the recent past, the latest being from Rajasthan where a man was beaten to death on Friday on suspicion of cow smuggling.
Condemning the rising incidents of lynching in India, the Supreme Court had on Tuesday asked the government to enact a law to deal such cases. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had termed the incidents of lynching “horrendous acts of mobocracy”.