India News Top Stories

SC talks tough, say states obliged to compensate victims of cow vigilantism

SC talks tough, say states obliged to compensate victims of cow vigilantism

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that all states are under an obligation to compensate victims of cow vigilantism violence cases.

The apex court hearing the matter of murdered dairy farmer Pehlu Khan said that victims in such cases need to be compensated, reported One India.

55-year-old Pehlu Khan was lynched byself-styled gau rakshaks  in April this year when he was transporting cattle with his sons from Nuh in Haryana to Jaipur in Rajasthan.

Recently, the Rajasthan police gave a clean chit to six accused who were named and identified by Khan in his dying declaration.

The apex court has asked all the states to file a report on the compliance of its order by appointing a nodal officer to prevent violence by the cow vigilante groups across the country.

Only Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have filed their compliance reports. The matter is posted for further hearing on October 31.

“Victims are to be compensated. It is obligatory on the part of the state to compensate the victim of crime,” the Bench headed by the Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

 

Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the state is under obligation to have a scheme for victim compensation and if they don’t have then they should have one, it added.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, also appearing for one of the petitioners, told the court that while the perpetrator of violence in the name of protecting cows were on bail, the victims faced FIRs and persecution.

“There are several FIRs lodged in cases involving violence by cow vigilante groups and not in one case, anything has happened,” he told the bench.

There has been a spurt in the incidents of violence by cow vigilantes resulting in the death of several people. On September 6, the top court had asked each state to appoint a senior police officer in each district as nodal officer to take action against cow vigilante groups for taking law in their hands.

In the last hearing of the matter on September 6, the top court had said that that cow vigilantism has to stop and directed states/union territories to appoint district nodal officers to take steps to prevent and act against perpetrators of such violence.

“This must stop. What action have you taken? It is not permissible. There has to be some kind of action,” the court had said while seeking the response of the state governments.

Even though PM Modi has given repeated warnings to cow vigilantes, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

In July, Modi had said, “Killing people in the name of ‘gau bhakti’ is not acceptable. This is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve. No person in this nation has the right to take the law in his or her own hands.”

With inputs from agencies