Law

Supreme Court Issues Notice to Three States on Violence in the Name of Cow Protection

The court has asked Haryana, Rajasthan and UP to respond to a plea seeking contempt proceedings against the states for not following orders on curbing such violence.

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to three BJP-ruled states – Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – on a plea seeking contempt proceedings against the states for not implementing the apex court’s order on preventing violence in the name of cow protection.

The plea was filed by Tushar Gandhi, an activist and Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson, who was represented by senior advocate Indira Jaising. According to the Indian Express, Jaising told the court that violent incidents were continuing in the three states despite the court’s previous orders for ensuring more security.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud asked the states to file their response by April 3, and said that the contempt plea would be heard along with Gandhi’s larger writ petition on the issue.

On September 6, 2017, the court had told states to appoint district nodal officers to curb vigilantism and organise highway patrols, as it was pointed out that most incidents had happened on highways. On September 22, the court told all chief secretaries to file compliance reports on laying down mechanisms against mob violence, saying that “nobody can wash off their hands”. The court had also said then that states must pay compensation to victims of such violence, without the courts intervening.

“The senior police officer shall take prompt action and ensure that vigilante groups and such people are prosecuted with quite promptitude,” the Supreme Court’s order had said, adding that people “should not take law into their own hands” and “should not behave as if they were law unto themselves”.

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