The Jharkhand Assembly on Tuesday passed the Prevention of Mob Violence and Mob Lynching Bill, 2021, which aims to protect the constitutional rights of individuals and avert mob brutalities in the state, PTI reported.
The law was proposed in the House by Congress leader and Jharkhand’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam.
Once the Bill receives the governor’s assent, Jharkhand will become the fourth state in India to have passed a law against mob violence after West Bengal, Rajasthan and Manipur.
The Bill defines lynching as “any act or series of acts of violence or death...whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other ground”.
The proposed law empowers the district magistrate and the police to take effective measures to stop lynching incidents in their jurisdictions, Live Law reported.
A person found involved in mob lynching could be punished with up to life imprisonment and may be fined between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh depending on the severity of the crime. In case a person dies during the lynching, the perpetrators can be fined Rs 25 lakh.
All offences under the Bill have been made cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable. It has also made provisions to punish persons involved in planning mob violence, supporting or attempting it.
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) MLA Vinod Singh supported the proposed legislation, PTI reported. He said that Bill was “very important”, but should have been tabled in advance. While Singh appreciated the details of the Bill, he noted that it remained “silent on compensation”.
Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Amar Bauri opposed the Bill, saying it was an attempt at appeasement politics and that it was not made for tribals.
“There is a tradition in the tribal community to resolve various issues arising out of their villages etc…,” he said. “Tomorrow if there is any problem and the tribals want to resolve a certain issue, then a person may be booked for abetting the accused. This Bill is anti-Jharkhand.”