NEW DELHI: Amendments in some existing laws to deal with incidents of lynching were among the key topics discussed on Saturday by a special committee constituted to address the issue of mob violence.
The committee, comprising secretaries of several ministries, discussed whether a new law was required to deal with lynching or new provisions in existing laws could address the problem.
The committee headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba was formed by the Centre on Monday on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The meeting was attended by advocate Anas Tanvir and social activist Tehseen Poonawalla, one of the petitioners in the apex court, which had earlier this month recommended that Parliament enact an anti-lynching law.
Poonawalla and Tanvir also gave a presentation before the committee on a draft law prepared by them.
“We had a long discussion on the draft anti-lynching law prepared by us. The committee had some objections to the proposed provisions and they suggested some reconsideration, but the meeting was satisfactory,” said Tanvir.
Their draft law proposes that lynching be made a cognisable and non-bailable offence. The draft law recommends life imprisonment and a fine of 5 lakh in case of death of the person because of lynching.
The committee members expressed reservations about the need for a new law and for making lynching a separate offence altogether, sources said.
They instead discussed if lynching could be dealt with by amending existing provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), such as widening the scope of IPC sections 302 (murder) and 149 (unlawful assembly).
Report in four weeks
The committee is expected to submit its recommendations in four weeks to a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, for further examination.
The GoM will submit its report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.