Gujarat Brings Mob Lynching Under Section 153 (A) Of IPC, Punishable With Jail Term Of 3 Years

| September 16 , 2018 , 13:11 IST

Taking action against the menace of mob lynchings, the Gujarat government on Saturday announced that it has brought mob lynchings under the purview of Section 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code as a "serious offence" which would be punishable with a jail term of 3 years.

Section 153 (A) of the IPC pertains to "Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony."

The release issued by the Gujarat government detailed that police commissioners and superintendents of police would be made nodal officers for such cases in their respective areas “and it would be their responsibility to control incidents of this nature”.

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The IPC section 153 (A) would also be applicable on spread of fake news on social media or any other channel/medium, provocative speeches, provocative or objectionable literature/writings that could hurt sentiments, the release said.

The ruling BJP government in Gujarat said that it was acting on the July 17 directive of the Supreme Court in connection with the Tehseen Poonawala vs Union of India case where the apex court had said that nobody has the right to take the law in their hands over any reason.

The Supreme Court had said the mob lynching is a crime regardless of what the motive is and that the matter is a law and order issue that is the responsibility of state governments.

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In August, a government panel formed to look into the rampant mob lynchings taking place across the nation submitted its report to a group of ministers headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The panel, headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba cited 'malicious content' on social media and online as the leading cause for lynchings and recommended closer monitoring and increased accountability.

“The panel has taken the view that lynching is basically part of the overall issue of malicious and pornographic content floating in the cyber space. The content targets vulnerable sections like children, women and minorities," the panel said in its report.