Raj assembly brings honour killing, lynching Bills

Raj assembly brings honour killing, lynching Bills

Muslim activists protest against the recent incidents of mob lynching, in Bikaner, Friday, June 28, 2019. (PTI Photo)

In order to curb incidents related to mob lynching and honour killing Rajasthan government on Tuesday introduced two bills in the assembly which provides sentencing of life imprisonment and fine of Rs 5 lakh rupees to those found guilty. 

The two bills introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal are named as The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition bill-2019' and 'The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill-2019'. 

What does the bill say?

The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill-2019 aims at prevention and protection by appointing special judges for speedy trials of a victim's family. In case if the victim dies, as per the bill the guilty will be sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of rupees five lakh will also be imposed. However if the victim suffers injuries, the convict will have to serve seven years of jail and fine of rupees one lakh. However, if the injury is serious in that case guilty will have to serve ten years of imprisonment and fine of rupees 2.5 lakh. 

The bill also gives special powers to district collectors and Superintendent of police to act as state coordinators in case any mishap happens. "It is proposed to nip the evil in the bud and to prevent spreading of hatred or incitement to mob lynching by creating special offences against such mob lynching in addition to other offences under the Indian Penal Code," the statement of the bill said. The statement of objects and reasons for the lynching bill mentioned the recommendation of the Supreme Court to enact legislation against the mob lynching. 

Similarly in the bill to curb honour killing prevent assemblies which take place to condemn marriages and inter-caste, inter-community and inter-religious marriages between two consenting adults in the name of vindicating the honour of the family, caste or community. Such alliances as also to punish such acts of violence and criminal intimidating severely.

Rajasthan had witnessed three high profile lynching cases in last BJP tenure. In all three cases which are under trial, the three dairy farmers Pehlu Khan, Rakbar Khan and Ummar Mohammad were allegedly lynched by cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling in separate incidents. 

Activists accuse govt for not consulting public

The social activists have welcomed both the Bills but at the same time accuse state government for not consulting the public (stakeholders) before drafting the bill. "The directions are given by the Ministry of Law and Social Justice on February 5, 2014, clearly states that before finalizing the draft of the bill and placing it before in the Legislature, it should be before the public for consultation and scrutiny. The draft bill should be put on the internet so that it is accessible for everyone. But Home Department of Rajasthan Government did not put the draft of the bills, in front of the public, neither on any website nor put it for any consultation", Kavita Srivastava of Public Union for Civil Liberties told DH. 

"Since the voice of the public and the inputs of civil society organizations is very important, therefore it is our demand from the legislators, to send the bill to the Select Committee, rather than rush its passage", added Nikhil Dey, a social activist associated with MKSS. 

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had announced enactment of laws against honour killing and mob lynching while replying to a debate on the state budget on July 16.