Mob Lynching: Boon or Bane
Mob Lynching is an activity by the angry crowd of people who wish to kill someone without a trial. This is mainly because because they believe that person has committed a crime. These types of incidents usually take place because of two reasons:
1. The belief of one community about an issue which may not be the same in view of some other community.
2. The incident is of such a grave character that the people do not want to wait for the Court to decide the issue.
One such incident has occurred in Chennai. 17 men raped an eleven-year-old differently-abled girl for seven months. The accused were employed in the society as a security guard, lift operator, water supplier, plumber and others were outsiders but their known. When they were brought to the Mahila Court, some lawyers decided to provide an instant justice to the victim. Even the policemen were present, they were able to trash some accused.
It’s ironical, the lawyers in Chennai got physical when the Supreme Court urged the legislature to enact laws against lynching. It was also done on the day when Swami Agnivesh was assaulted by Yuva activist of BJP in Jharkhand.
The matter came in light on 13th July 2018, when the victim complained to her elder sister for stomach ache. After the pressure was created by her sister for more information and the matter was revealed by the victim. She told that men in society complex assaulted her and even, that she was gang raped. In the words of her mother, assault began on 15 January by the lift operator. He threatened her to not to tell anyone. A few days later some other man was brought by him and they also raped her. Drugs were inserted in her and videos were made of same and she was blackmailed. The tragedy is that anyone who got a chance joined this act. Also, no one noticed that something is going on in the society itself.
Keeping in view the public opinion on the same act, they admire it to be correct and being appreciated. According to them, the monsters deserved the kind of ruthlessness done by them. All the accused were remanded under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The people should not lose their hope on the Judiciary for the justice being rendered by it.
Citing an example the same kind of act was done in the case where two engineering girls were the victim of acid attack in Andhra Pradesh in December 2008, where before the judicial proceeding within some hours of arrest they were shot dead on the contention of self defense by the police officials as the trio of accused attacked them. This is pretty evident that the act by the police officer is an unconvincing excuse for the punishment provided by them to the accused.
Who will decide if the act of lynching is a boon or bane?
In the same act done by the lawyers the group who thinks that it was correct and should be appreciated but on the contrary others will say that they shouldn’t take judiciary work in their hands. Some will question the lynching in the matter of cattle trader who was suspected to carry beef was lynched as wrong. While, in the matter of the suspected kidnappers who were lynched is correct. Even though both the matters were fake and was rumored by the WhatsApp media group.
India has slipped back into the dark ages where a common foe can easily be bludgeoned to death. We are living in a democratic society. We are meant to empower citizen but now India is becoming a “Mobocracy’ which in common parlance means rule or domination by the masses. The people of India are now having the courage to take law in their hands and punish offenders and on the other side, the offenders are also indulging in such a “Mobocracy” that if they do an act with a greater number of people involved than they would be punished.
The multiple rapes in Chennai, too, were an act of “Mobocracy”. The 17 beasts must have drawn courage from the fact that they were not alone in the act. The acts of lynching mostly depend on the motto of “might is right”, where the individual imagines he will get away in the crowd.
At present, there is no codified law for the act of lynching. But, as per section (a) of 223 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, persons can be charged for an offence jointly when they are accused of the same offence committed in the course of the same transaction which is applicable on two or more people.
There is also a popular demand by the National Campaign against Mob Lynching (NCAML) recently to consider the instances of lynching and mob attacks as non-bailable offences with a time-bound trial and establishment of a special law to award convicts with life imprisonment and strict actions against police officials if they fail to control the situation.
Supreme judicature should be worried that street justice is becoming the new Supreme Court. It is not sure that the new law on lynching will stop the acts related to lynching. It is miserable to know that despite having the laws related to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences to deal with crime against a minor, the brutal acts of raping the minor girls are not able to end. Instant justice can’t substitute the slow legal system. Legal proceedings need time to provide justice serving to all. Now the situation is that police machinery and the Judiciary is at a glance to test because the angry mob on any point of time can come to our doorstep.
By Anushka Raghav,
A B.Com. LLB 4th Year student of Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan