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UP Law Commission recommends law for lynchings providing up to life term

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UP Law Commission recommends law for lynchings providing up to life term

The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission has drawn a draft legislation for combating mob lynching, recommending jail terms ranging from seven years to life imprisonment for assailants and up to three years for dereliction of duty by a police officer or district magistrate.

The draft law is part of a report based on a study undertaken suo motu by the Commission – the government had not commissioned it. The report along with the draft Bill was submitted to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday, July 10, by State Law Commission Chairman Justice (retd) Aditya Nath Mittal, according to media reports.

In the introduction to the report, Justice Mittal noted that “one of the most stringing descriptions of the dangers of mob violence was Mark Twain’s response to a racial lynching in Missouri in 1901. He saw in it the danger of America turning into ‘United States of Lyncherdom’.” More than a century later, the secular Republic of India “appears to be amidst the shadow of a similar fear,” he said.

The 128-page report cited various cases of lynching in the state and recommended the immediate enactment of a law as per recommendations made by the Supreme Court in 2018.The report said only Manipur has made a special law against lynchings and, as per media reports, the Madhya Pradesh government is soon going to enact it.

The Supreme Court had in July 2018 issued a series of remedial and punitive measures to the Centre and state governments to curb mob lynching, demanding them to be implemented within four weeks.Noting that “mobocracy cannot be allowed in democracy”, the court had asked the governments to ensure that law and order is maintained. It had recommended the governments to enact a law that specifically addresses cases of lynching.

The UP State Law Commission’s report says the existing law is not sufficient to deal with mob lynchings and there is need for a law to not just punish the wrongdoers but also hold authorities responsible for dereliction of duty if such incidents take place under their watch.

Suggesting that such a law may be called the Uttar Pradesh Combating of Mob Lynching Act, the commission specified the responsibilities of police officers and district magistrates, spelling out the punishment for failing in their duty.

As per the available data from 2012 to 2019, 50 incidents of mob violence have taken place in the state.

Also Read: CBI raids senior advocates Indira Jaising, Anand Grover for FCRA violation

Of around 50 victims, 11 died. Twenty-five of these were cases of major assault, including those by cow vigilantes.

It referred to various cases of lynching and mob violence in the state, including the 2015 killing of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri on the suspicion of beef consumption.

It mentioned the killing of Inspector Subodh Singh on December 3, 2018, in a clash between police and Hindutva groups in Bulandshahr after cattle carcasses were found in a field.

The chairman noted that mobs were now turning on police as well. “Incidents of mob violence have taken place in districts of Farukkhabad, Unnao, Kanpur, Hapur and Muzaffarnagar. Police are also becoming victims as people have started thinking of them as their enemy,” Mittal said in the report.

“The killing of a head constable in Ghazipur and a jail warden are examples of this,” he said.

Underlining that mob lynching be made a separate offence to inculcate fear among miscreants, the commission’s draft law recommends stringent punishment:

* Imprisonment up to 7 years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh if the victim is injured.

* Imprisonment up to 10 years and fine up to Rs 3 lakh if victim suffers serious injuries.

* Rigorous imprisonment for life and fine up to Rs 5 lakh if the victim dies.

* Those involved in conspiracy, abetment be punished like those actually involved in lynching.

* In case of dereliction of duty by police officer or district magistrate, imprisonment of one year, which may be extended to three years and fine up to Rs 5000.

* Imprisonment of six months for contributing or enforcing a hostile environment.

The draft Bill defines “lynching”, “mob”, “victim” and “offensive material”  as well as also “hostile environment” created against the victim or family, including boycott of trade, public humiliation, depriving fundamental rights, and forcing a person to leave home etc.

Also Read: Ayodhya case: Daily hearing in Supreme Court from July 25 if mediation efforts fail

To hasten the trial process, the report suggests that cases of mob lynching should be assigned to designated judges, who should conduct the trial on a priority basis.

The panel said the law should also provide for compensation to the family of the victim for grievous injury or loss of loss of life and property. There should also be provisions for the rehabilitation of the victims and their families, it said.

Sapna Tripathi, Secretary of the State Law Commission, told The Indian Express: “The commission realised that mob lynching is a global problem faced even by US, countries in Africa etc for long. Thus, the commission thought of undertaking a suo motu study in this regard about six months ago. We also took into account directions of the Supreme Court and High Courts in different cases.”

“The commission only recommends and proposes to state government, it is up to the state government to accept it or take it forward.” She said the commission’s next study is on “anti-conversion laws” related to conversion of religion for the purpose of marriage.

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Farmers take out tractor march near Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

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Farmers took out a tractor rally near the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar on Monday to protest against the central government for accepting their demands, which included a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops. Videos showed many tractors being driven on the road. The rally was stopped by the police at the Yamuna Expressway’s entry point.

They were not allowed to carry out their rally on the expressway. The development comes even as farmers have delayed their march to the national capital till February 29 after a decision is made and are staying at the Khanauri and Shambhu points on the Punjab-Haryana border.

The Noida police had issued an advisory for daily commuters and warned them of traffic jams at many places which also included the Delhi-Noida border. The farmers are planning to carry out the tractor march along the Yamuna Expressway, Luharli Toll Plaza and Mahamaya Flyover and traffic diversions have been imposed by the police at these places.

The police have barricaded the Delhi-Noida border and police will conduct checking of vehicles entering Delhi or Noida. Daily commuters have been advised not to use the Yamuna Expressway and to use alternative routes or the metro to avoid inconveniences.

Farmer leader Baldev Singh Sirsa said a farmer named Pritpal Singh was doing Langar seva at the Khannauri on the Punjab-Haryana border when he was allegedly dragged by the policemen from his tractor trolley and was badly beaten. He said Pritpal Singh was admitted to a hospital in Rohtak. But he got shifted to PGIMER at Chandigarh.

Farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said Pritpal Singh has suffered multiple injuries and they strongly condemn the action of the police. He said the prime minister should take action against policemen who indulge in such barbaric acts. Former Punjab chief Minister and senior BJP Leader Captain Amarinder Singh condemned the barbaric act of violence against Pritpal Singh.

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Allahabad High Court refuses to ban ongoing puja at Vyas Tehkhana inside Gyanvapi mosque complex, grants permission for worship to continue

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who is representing the Hindu side said today the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the first appeal from orders of Anjuman Intezamia which was directed against the order of 17th and 31st January and the effect of the order is that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana of Gyanvapi complex will continue.

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The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed the Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s appeal challenging the Varanasi district court’s decision to offer prayers in a cellar in the Gyanvapi mosque complex. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal of the Allahabad high court pronounced the judgement.

He said after going through the entire records of the case and after considering arguments of the parties concerned, the court did not find any ground to interfere in the judgement passed by the District judge dated 17.01.2024 appointing DM, Varanasi as receiver of the property as well as the order dated 31.01.2024 by which the district high court had permitted puja in the Tehkhana.

Advocate Prabhash hailed the verdict and said it is a big victory of Sanatana Dharma. The judge dismissed the pleas that the Muslim side had filed against the District judge’s order. He said this means that the puja will continue as it is. The District magistrate will continue as the receiver of the Tehkhana and the Muslim side can go for a review of the decision.

Another Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain who is representing the Hindu side said today the Allahabad High Court has dismissed the first appeal from orders of Anjuman Intezamia which was directed against the order of 17th and 31st January and the effect of the order is that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana of Gyanvapi complex will continue. He said if the Anjuman Intezamia comes to the Supreme Court, then they will file their caveat before the top court.

The Varanasi court on January 31 had ruled that the Hindu side can offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi masjid – the Vyas Tehkhana. The court had also directed the District magistrate to make arrangements for prayers and a priest which is nominated by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust.

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MEA rejects reports about Indians seeking early discharge from Russian Army

The Ministry has clarified that India is actively pursuing all cases related to the issue and that some Indians have already been discharged.

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The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday issued a statement denouncing several media reports claiming that Indians serving in the Russian Army are seeking an early discharge. The Ministry has clarified that India is actively pursuing all cases related to this issue and some Indians have already been discharged.

The statement was issued following a report that stated some Indians are working as security staff in the Russian Army and are forced to fight alongside the Russian soldiers in the conflict zone of the Ukraine War.

The statement further added that every case brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been strongly taken up by the Russian authorities. Furthermore, the matters that have been brought to the attention of the Ministry of External Affairs have also been taken up with the Russian embassy in New Delhi. 

The Ministry of External Affairs also mentioned that it remains committed and its priority is to actively pursue all relevant cases of the Indian nationals for early discharge from the Russian army with the Russian authorities.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry mentioned that the ministry is aware of Indian nationals who have signed up for support jobs with the Russian Army. He further advised all the Indian nationals to be cautious and steer clear of the Ukraine conflict. 

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen [AIMIM] leader, Asaduddin Owaisi had urged the External Affairs Ministry to rescue the Indians. He asked External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on X, formerly Twitter on Wednesday, to use his offices to bring those men back home, adding that their lives are at risk and their families are justifiably worried.

Reportedly, a 23-year-old Indian named Hemil Mangukiya had died in a missile strike in Russia on February 21. He has been working as a helper in the country and had reportedly been inducted into the war zone on the Ukraine Border.

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