Written By: Anushka Gupta
When a group of people take the law in their hand and think that they are both judge and accuser and harm or kill someone, it is known as mob justice. The person who gets harmed in the mob justice did not even get the opportunity to defend his innocence. The victim usually dies because of being harshly beaten or tortured by the mob. The victim of mob lynching does not get an opportunity for a fair trial or its fundamental right to life which violates United Nations human rights standards. Mob justice shows the inefficiency of society to access justice and the violation of human rights. The government's inability to make people trust the justice and security system of its own country make people take the law into their hand. Other reasons for the same could be lack of education, poverty or discrimination which is very common in developing and undeveloped countries. In certain countries, the refugees or asylum seekers are considered to that they are exploiting their resources by the citizens of that country which led to mob violence against refugees. Also, in most western or Europe countries, the refugees who come from places like Ghana, Africa or Afghanistan are looked down upon because of their skin tone and people discriminate against them which excites violence and harassment.
THE BEGINNING: INDIAN VERSION
The trend of mob violence took its momentum in 2015 following Dadri's lynching. A 52-year-old man named Mohammad Akhlaq was killed by a group on the ground that he steal and slaughtered a calf in Uttar Pradesh Dadri. Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer people in 2017 was killed by a mob of 200 people for cow vigilance on his way home; he was beaten brutally with the rods and sticks. In Maniktala's Harsha Haat in north Kolkata, an enraged mob bludgeoned a 35-year-old man to death on charges of stealing in 2019. According to a Reuters article, 63 people died as a result of cow-related violence between 2010 and 2017. Although Muslims have been a major target in mob lynching, it is not limited to particular religion or community.
LEGITIMISING THE CRIME
Sadly, even with the increase in the arrest of offenders, there is no curb on the offenders. Many of these killings are legitimised by the people who portray them as heroes and their acts are considered to be very courageous. It has also been seen that these people get support from social media by pointing out a fault in a victim. Shambhulal Regar, a native of Rajasamand in Rajasthan, was caught on camera in 2017 cutting and burning Mohammad Afrazul, a 48-year-old Bengali migrant labourer, accusing him of "love jihad" and warning other Muslims against it. Also, Shambhala Regar got an offer from the Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena party to contest the election while he was in jail. Later, the organization's national president, Amit Jani, informed the media that he wanted a Hindutva face to run for office on their party's platform and that no one could be better than Regar. Supreme Court stand on it The case of “Tehseen S. Ponawalla v. Union of India & others”, the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra, and the bench of three-judge denounced the latest occurrences of mob violence and mob lynching of Dalits and members of other communities. On July 17, 2018, he requested the parliament to draught and enact laws that would make mob lynching a separate crime and set punishments that would serve as a deterrence to future lynching. Furthermore, the bench argued that no one or group of individuals can take the law into their own hands and become a judge and impose punishment according to their will. Furthermore, the Chief Justice of India underlined the necessity of issuing orders for punitive, rehabilitative, and preventative measures. These actions are being taken in response to the social activist's “Writ Petition, which was filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution”. He advocated swift and decisive action against the mob lynching perpetrated by cow protection organisations that engage in extreme violence. The petition even demanded that violent content shared by the organisations be removed from social media. Governments must take stringent steps to avoid mob violence and vigilantism, and citizens should report cases of individuals taking the law into their own hands. In the Supreme Court of India, this aforementioned case was filed by the Central government of India to execute the laws for the crime of mob lynching. As a result of the interim order, the Supreme Court's full bench has mandated specific actions to deal with this particular matter.
Numerous measures need to be considered in relation to mob lynching cases in India and throughout the world. India's government must take efforts to guarantee that justice is delivered more quickly.
Filing an FIR without delay is one of the first steps that need to be taken into account to reduce mob violence. Often, it has been seen that people who report this mob violence are either harassed or delayed by the police officer.
A standard compensation needs to be set up for the family of the victim and a legal scheme should be given such as free legal aid. Mostly in developing countries like India, there is one bread earner in the family and the sudden death of that person affects the whole generation of that family.
Parliament can also help in the reduction of these cases by making laws which come under the guideline given by the Supreme Court of India also the parliament need to make stricter laws for the offender of mob lynching.
People are usually afraid to report these crimes and it is really difficult to identify the offenders of these crimes because it happens in masses so, people's support is indeed very much needed. But people are afraid that they will also get killed by these mobs so, special protection needs to be given to reporters about these crimes.
In these days’ state of affairs, the times of vigilante attacks and lynching have ended up the tool about preference for violence against small ethnic groups. These are cases of mob violence perpetrated with the help of people who mistakenly believe they have the power of the state owing to a lack of understanding of the law. Lynching is believed to be occurring regularly in the region, resulting in a "countrywide pandemic. As a result of this sort of situation, Indians are learning to endure justice with an exaggerated sense of foreboding, resulting in a lurking, unidentified, unsaid terror. It has caused fear in the thoughts of individuals that they would be attacked by crowds and that they will be inclined in the situation because of its severe character. The countless mob lynching and mob violence instances reported from various parts of the United States have saddened India. The majority of the incidents occurred as a result of authorities in the United States of America issuing red meat prohibition orders. It might be argued that all lynching sports based on identity discriminate against the whole community, in violation of Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution. The current situation of mob violence in the United States is disheartening, and there is a need for distinct legislation to be adopted to protect victims of mob violence and to impose rigorous measures to reduce attacks.
Fast-track court begins trial five years after Akhlaqs murder, Hindustan Times (Mar. 26, 2021), https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/fasttrack-court-%20beginstrial-five-years-after-akhlaq-s-murder-101616714266085.html
Tehseen S. Poonawalla vs Union Of India on 17 July, 2018
Article 32 and Writ Petitions under Indian Constitution, LawBhoomi (Sept. 4, 2020), the Supreme Court's full bench has mandated specific actions to deal with this particular matter. https://lawbhoomi.com/article-32-and-writ-petitions-under-indian-constitution/
Indian Kanoon Website - https://indiankanoon.org/doc/71965246/
Law Bhoomi - Article 32 and Writ Petitions under Indian Constitution, LawBhoomi (Sept. 4, 2020), https://lawbhoomi.com/article-32-and-writ-petitions-under-indian-constitution/