J'khand guv returns anti-lynching bill, asks state to revisit definition of mob - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Jharkhand governor returns anti-lynching bill, asks state to revisit definition of ‘mob’

By, Ranchi
Mar 18, 2022 01:41 AM IST

On December 12 last year, the Jharkhand assembly passed the “Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021” during the winter session.

Jharkhand governor Ramesh Bais has sent the anti-lynching bill back to the state government with two specific suggestions, including reconsidering the definition of ‘mob’ which was “not in consonance with the well-defined legal lexicon or glossary”, people familiar with the development said on Thursday.

Two government officials confirmed that Jharkhand governor Ramesh Bais returned the bill to CM Hemant Soren-led state government on Wednesday with two major recommendations. (Somnath Sen)
Two government officials confirmed that Jharkhand governor Ramesh Bais returned the bill to CM Hemant Soren-led state government on Wednesday with two major recommendations. (Somnath Sen)

On December 12 last year, the Jharkhand assembly passed the “Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021” during the winter session. The legislation has provision for jail terms ranging from three years to life imprisonment and fines of up to 25 lakh against those involved in mob lynching leading to “injury or death” of an individual.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

The bill also provides for punishment for ‘conspiracy or abetment or attempt to lynch’; ‘obstructing legal process’; ‘dissemination of offensive material’ and ‘enforcing a hostile environment’, besides compensation for the victims as per the ‘compensation scheme’ of the state government.

With its passage, Jharkhand had become the third state after West Bengal and Rajasthan to have put in place a bill against the crime.

The bill was, however, opposed by the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its present form in the assembly, demanding its review by a select committee. The BJP had raised several objections, including over the definition of mob.

However, the assembly passed the bill and sent it to the governor for his approval. On February 11, members of tribal community under the banner of ‘Janjati Suraksha Manch’ met the governor, requesting not to give his nod to the proposed law. The delegation had argued that this bill would undermine the special provisions in place for the tribal community by the Centre and state government.

Two government officials confirmed that the governor returned the bill to the Hemant Soren-led state government on Wednesday with two major recommendations.

“There is a mismatch between Hindi and English versions of the bill. Sub-clause xii in Sub-section 1 of Section 2 deals with ‘witness protection scheme’ in the English version of the bill. This Sub-clause xii is missing in the Hindi version... This needs to be rectified so that there is symmetry in both versions of the bill,” a senior official said, quoting from the observation note sent back to the government.

“Secondly, there is a need to reconsider the definition of mob as given in section 2(vi) of the bill. A group of two or more individuals cannot be called a tumultuous crowd. A mob is large, angry and disorderly crowd of people who are often uncontrollable or violent. The state government must revisit the definition of mob,” the official added.

When asked if the government would consider the suggestions and bring the amendment in the ongoing budget session of the Jharkhand assembly, Vinay Chowbey, principal secretary to chief minister Soren, refused to comment.

Supriyo Bhattacharya, principal general secretary and spokesperson of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), said the government will take a call on it.

“It won’t be right to comment over the issue as I am not aware of the grounds on which the governor has returned the bill. It is a policy matter and the government will deal with it accordingly,” he said.

Last week, in a reply to a query by Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) legislator Binod Singh in the ongoing budget session, Jharkhand’s parliamentary affairs minister Alamgir Alam told the legislative assembly that the government was planning to set up fast-track courts in the state for speedy trial of mob-lynching cases.

The minister informed the House that 46 cases of mob-lynching have been recorded in the state between 2016 and 2021. In 11 such cases, 51 accused were convicted to life imprisonment after completion of the trial, the minister said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Vishal Kant works as an Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He tracks developments in Aam Aadmi Party and Delhi government. Vishal has spent about a decade covering the city politics and governance, besides writing on Delhi’s civic issues, urban transport and infrastructure.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On