Amid the increasing number of lynching cases across the country, the West Bengal assembly on Friday passed the West Bengal (Prevention of lynching) bill 2019. The bill will make lynching a criminal offence.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state government has brought The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 as the Centre did not introduce any law against it.
"Lynching is a social evil and the Supreme Court has given direction to take action against lynching," she told the Assembly. "Lynching is a social evil and all of us have to come together to fight against it," News agency PTI quoted Mamata as saying.
"The central government should have brought a law against it. But they are yet to do so. So we are bringing this law in our state to fight against this social evil," she said tabling the bill in the House.
The anti-lynching draft bill described lynching as any attempt or act of violence by a mob on the "grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other ground".
The Bill aims to protect the constitutional rights of vulnerable persons and prevent incidents of lynching. It also proposes action against those involved in perpetrating the crime.
The legislation also pitches for a jail term, which may vary from three years to life imprisonment for those involved in assaulting and injuring a victim. In case of death of the victim, persons responsible for the incident would be punished with rigorous life imprisonment and fine up to Rs 5 lakh, the bill said.
Similarly, on August 5, the Rajasthan Assembly passed a bill providing for life imprisonment and a fine from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh to those convicted of mob lynching.
(With inputs from PTI)
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