Mob lynching is an illegal way of punishing somebody by an informal group of people.
A lynch mob can be defined as an angry group of people who wishes to punish by killing someone without a trial because they believe the person has committed a crime. Mob lynching is social as well as a political problem, it is usually based on religious violence, caste discrimination and targeting of a particular community. Some of the political leaders use the diversity of India for selfish political benefits. Vote bank is another petty thing which politicians crave for, they tend to use unemployed youth for fulfilling their selfish interests. Chief Justice Dipak Mishra said that behind such a horrendous act of mobocracy, the social media plays an evident role by provoking people at large.
The government said that there has not been a common pattern of mob lynching, however, currently, there is no codified law against mob lynching but after observing the increasing trend in the cases, some sections of IPC, Evidence Act, and CrPC are adjusted for the needs of these matters. Section 302 of IPC, Section 307 of IPC, Section 323 IPC, Section 223 of CrPC, the cause of mob lynching is included in the above-mentioned sections.
A three-judge bench led by Hon’ble chief justice of India, Dipak Mishra commented that no individual or a group is allowed to take law in his or her hands, and decide whether the person is guilty or not and punish for them for the same. CJI also issued preventive measures regarding the same.
Guidelines issued by Supreme Court
1. FIR should be filed against any person who spreads fake news or messages.
2. States are directed to start with the compensation schemes to provide interim relief to the victim of mob lynching with 30 days of the incident.
3. Center and state have been directed to broadcast the serious consequences and warnings for the mob lynching and mob violence.
4. If police administration fails to comply with the SC guidelines, they will be deemed for deliberate negligence and strict actions will be taken against them.
5. Mob lynching cases will be tried by the fast track court and shall be concluded within a period of 6 months.
Steps have been taken by the government to prevent this national crime.
The government instead of bringing new laws, favoured amendments in the existing laws. Subsections are to be included in the existing sections to provide a harsher punishment.
There are no separate provisions for mob lynching in India at the moment, the punishment of mob lynching is however provided in the ambit of the following sections:-
Section 304 of Indian Penal Code: Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.—Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
Section 307 of Indian Penal Code: Attempt to murder.—Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to 1[imprisonment for life] or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. Attempts by life convicts.—2[When any person offending under this section is under sentence of 1[imprisonment for life], he may, if the hurt is caused, be punished with death.]
Section 323 of Indian Penal Code: Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt.—Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, voluntarily causes hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
Section 34 of Indian Penal Code: Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.—When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.
Section 120B of Indian Penal Code: Punishment of criminal conspiracy.—
(1) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offense punishable with death, 2[imprisonment for life] or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offense.
(2) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offense punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.]
There is no distinction as a good crime or a bad crime, similarly, there is no distinction between good mob lynching and bad mob lynching. The crowd believes that if the judiciary and police administration cannot provide them justice, they should get it by themselves even though the person has committed a minor offense such as theft or sometimes the person can be proven not guilty. This clearly shows that people in the country have lost their trust in law and order.
According to my suggestion, instead of including various subsections in the existing sections of the codified law, this national offense should be dealt in the existing sections, and the current administration should focus more on reviving the lost trust and faith of the people on this judiciary and police system.