How MASUKA - a Comprehensive Legal Package to Deal with Lynching - is Need of the Hour, Explains Adv. Sanjay Hegde
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,
New Delhi, July 16: MASUKA or Manav Suraksha Kanoon, a draft law prepared by concerned members of civil society, is the result of an effort to have a comprehensive law to deal with mob violence and lynching, said senior lawyer of Supreme Court Sanjay R Hegde while talking to IndiaTomorrow.net on the sidelines of Jamia Collective event where he spoke on why there is a need for a new lynching law.
"The entire effort is to have one comprehensive package legally which deals with mob situation where the mob tries to take the law in its own hand. The mob and members of the mob will finally come to know that the law is there for everyone including the victim and including the smallest minority," said Adv. Hegde.
In the last three months, around two dozen people have been killed in mob lynching in different parts of the country on suspicion of cow theft, beef or child theft. Most of the lynchings were carried out by self-styled gangs of Gau Rakshaks or cow protectors.
Talking about some key features of MASUKA in whose drafting he played key role and which was released to public last week, Adv. Hegde said: "We have attempted a definition of lynching - a definition where people who take the law in their own hands to punish somebody for a perceived wrong will come within the purview of this law."
Adv. Sanjay Hedge (5th from left), Tehseen Poonawalla (6th from left) and other civil leaders releasing MASUKA in Delhi on 7 July 2017 (Photo - India Tomorrow)
"We have also tried to fix administrative responsibility upon the civil administration as well as upon the police so that there can't be any excuse on their part saying that we did not know or they cannot afford to sit on their hands and be complicit in the lynching," he said.
MASUKA has furthermore provisions for witness protection which is a very important issue because in mob situation witnesses often prefer not to come to court.
Sayeeda Hamid, former member of Planning Commission, (first row - extreme right), other intellectuals, students at Jamia Collective
"We have also made provisions for compensation for the victims and also for speedy court procedure and investigation because. We have provided for designated courts here which will go on day to day trial," he informed.
Other key members of MASUKA draft team were Shehzad Poonawalla and Tehseen Poonawalla. MASUKA draft copy was released in Delhi on 7th July.
Some Latest Cases of Lynching:
02 July: A man named Asadul was lynched by villagers in Jharkhand's Sahibganj district as he was allegedly trying to run away after murdering his wife.
29 June: Mohd Allimuddin, a resident of Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand, was beaten to death by a mob in Ramgarh district of the same state on suspicion that he was carrying beef in his vehicle.
22 June: Three people identified as Mohammad Nasir, Nasirul Haque and Mohammad Samiruddin were lynched in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district after they were allegedly caught stealing cows from a house.
22 June: A minor named Junaid Khan, 16, was beaten and stabbed to death by a group of people in a running train in Haryana.
16 June: Social activist Zafar Khan was allegedly beaten to death by municipality employees in Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan when he objected to them taking photos of women defecating in the open.
18 May: Four people named Naeem, Khali, Farzu and Raju were lynched in Seraikela-Kharsawa district of Jharkhand on suspicion of being child lifter.
18 May: Three people named Vikas Kumar Verma, Uttam Kumar Verma and Ganesh Kumar Gupta were lynched in Singhbhum district of Jharkhand on suspicion of being child lifter.
02 May: Ghulam Mohammad, 45, was killed by a group of men for allegedly helping an inter-faith couple in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh.
30 April: Two persons named Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali were lynched by a mob in Nagaon district of Assam on suspicion of stealing cattle.
01April: Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, 55, was lynched in Alwar district of Rajasthan.
(Data compiled by IndiaTomorrow.net)