A PANEL of senior government officers, which deliberated on the possibility of enacting a new law to check incidents of lynching, has submitted its report to a Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, officials said on Wednesday. The committee of secretaries, headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, held consultations with a cross-section of society and other stakeholders before submitting its report to the GoM.
The GoM will now submit its recommendations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a final decision, a home ministry official said. Although the final outcome of the deliberations of the committee of secretaries is not known immediately, it is believed that it has suggested tightening the law by inserting clauses in the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure through parliamentary approval.
A senior government official said social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter will be made accountable for not blocking such malicious posts/videos when brought to their notice and “FIR could be lodged against their country heads” for non-compliance of government orders and they could be prosecuted under law.
“We have stepped up engagement with social media platforms. There is a provision in law which enables government to issue orders to remove objectionable content, block websites etc. Law enforcement agencies should be able to step up the act and monitor more proactively,” said the official.
“Compliance (with government orders) should be timely. Some countries employ NGOs and volunteers who proactively surf the Internet. We have created a portal where people can report such videos and content and that can be forwarded by National Crime Records Bureau (the nodal body) to concerned states for appropriate action,” the official said.