By Awstika Das

The Supreme Court of India on Friday issued notice in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) raising alarm over an increase in cases of lynching and mob violence against Muslims, particularly by ‘cow vigilantes’, despite the court’s Tehseen Poonawalla ruling. In this 2018 judgment, the top court had issued comprehensive guidelines to the union and state governments regarding the prevention of lynching and mob violence.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and JB Pardiwala sought the response of the Union home ministry and the police chiefs of the states of Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana today after Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the NFIW, insisted that invoking the jurisdiction of all the high courts would be futile. The senior counsel said:

“If Your Lordships tell me to go to the high court, nothing would happen. I would have to go to all these high courts. And what would [victims of mob lynching] get? Compensation of two lakhs after ten years. This is despite the [Tehseen Poonawalla] judgment. Where do we go? This is a very serious matter.”

“Issue notice,” Justice Gavai dictated, before telling Sibal, “So, you pre-empted our question.”

The senior counsel replied, “The last time you told me to go to the high court, so I knew this was going to happen.”…

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