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Lynching and Mob Violence May Become Typhon-like Monster, Warns Supreme Court

The three-judge bench held that there can be no justification for anyone to take law into his own hands, and once they opt to assume the role of protectors, they are nothing but criminals.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 17, 2018, 7:16 PM IST
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Lynching and Mob Violence May Become Typhon-like Monster, Warns Supreme Court
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New Delhi: Lynching and mob violence are creeping threats that may gradually take the shape of a Typhon-like monster, said the Supreme Court on Tuesday as it called vigilantism a “perverse notion” and asked the citizens to reflect upon if India has lost the values of tolerance to sustain a diverse culture.

The apex court, while issuing a slew of directives, expressed serious concerns over the rising incidents of lynching and mob violence, stating “when any core group with some kind of idea take the law into their own hands, it ushers in anarchy, chaos, disorder and, eventually, there is an emergence of a violent society.”

Disapproving of street-justice, the Court made it clear that “there cannot be an investigation, trial and punishment of any nature on the streets” and that “no one has the right to become the guardian of law claiming that he has to protect the law by any means.”

The three-judge bench held that there can be no justification for anyone to take law into his own hands, and once they opt to assume the role of protectors, they are nothing but criminals.

“It is imperative for them to remember that they are subservient to the law and cannot be guided by notions or emotions or sentiments or, for that matter, faith,” maintained the top court.

Crime knows no religion and neither the perpetrator nor the victim can be viewed through the lens of race, caste, class or religion, said the bench, adding that the State has the primary responsibility to foster a secular, pluralistic and multi-cultural social order so as to allow free play of ideas and beliefs and co-existence of mutually contradictory perspectives.

“Stifling free voices can never bode well for a true democracy...There has been an unfortunate litany of spiralling mob violence and agonized horror presenting a grim and gruesome picture that compels us to reflect whether the populace of a great Republic like ours has lost the values of tolerance to sustain a diverse culture,” lamented the Court.

The bench cautioned that it is essential to nip the hate crimes in the bud before they result into a “reign of terror” under the “tumultuous dark clouds of vigilantism” which would lead to decay of human values and corrode the nation like an epidemic.

“Unless these incidents are controlled, the day is not far when such monstrosity in the name of self-professed morality is likely to assume the shape of a huge cataclysm,” said the Court.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat of the state Assemblies in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you put on the psephologist's hat. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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