Lynchings: Ministry panel considers changes in law, a relief fundhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/lynchings-ministry-panel-considers-changes-in-law-a-relief-fund-5314802/

Lynchings: Ministry panel considers changes in law, a relief fund

The draft report will be submitted to a committee headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, that had been set up by the Home Ministry on July 23 to “deliberate” and “make recommendations” for separate penal provisions on incidents of mob violence.

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The ministry set up the committee as per the directions of the Supreme Court. The committee is supposed to submit its recommendations to a Group of Ministers by August 21. (PTI/File Photo)

AN informal group tasked to come out with a draft report on lynching and mob violence is learnt to have suggested amendments to the IPC and CrPC to strengthen police hands in taking action against those involved in mob violence, making the crime non-bailable, fast-tracking trial in such cases through special courts, and providing compensation to the victims from a central fund.

The draft report will be submitted to a committee headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, that had been set up by the Home Ministry on July 23 to “deliberate” and “make recommendations” for separate penal provisions on incidents of mob violence.

The ministry set up the committee as per the directions of the Supreme Court. The committee is supposed to submit its recommendations to a Group of Ministers by August 21.

The three-member informal group tasked with the Gauba-led committee to carry out the initial deliberations held talks with police in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra — states which have reported the most cases of lynching. It also spoke to other authorities handling law and order.

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According to sources, the group — comprising Union Home Ministry Joint Secretaries S C L Das and Praveen Vashisth, and Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau, Abhay — also addressed the question of whether a separate law, dubbed informally as Maanav Suraksha Kanoon (MASUKA), was needed to deal with mob violence.

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Sources said the Home Ministry committee will take a final decision on the draft report within a couple of days, after taking suggestions from other stakeholders. Apart from Gauba, this committee comprises secretaries of the Departments of Justice, Legal Affairs, Legislative Department, and Social Justice and Empowerment. Earlier, it held talks with Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala, who is one of those who had petitioned the Supreme Court seeking action against cow protection groups.

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Acting on the petitions, the court had asked Parliament to come up with a special law to deter such crimes.

Once the Home Ministry report is final, it will be taken to a Group of Ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and consisting of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, that in turn will submit its report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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