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Bills against lynching, honour killing introduced in Rajasthan

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Offences made non-bailable with heavy penalties and punishment

The Congress government on Tuesday tabled two separate Bills against mob lynching and honour killing in the Rajasthan Assembly, while affirming that their stringent provisions would help check these incidents. The Bills have made these offences non-bailable with heavy penalties and punishment, including death sentence for honour killing.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal introduced the Bills in the Assembly during the ongoing Budget session. The Bills have been titled the Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019, and the Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019.

The Bill against lynching stated that it would protect the constitutional rights of vulnerable persons and punish the acts of lynching through trial in the designated courts, besides rehabilitating the victims and their families.

The State has witnessed several incidents of mob lynching since April 2017, when Haryana’s dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was killed allegedly by a mob of cow vigilantes on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway.

The statement of objects and reasons for the Bill mentioned the Supreme Court’s recommendation made in 2018 in the case of Tehseen S. Poonawalla vs. Union of India for enacting a legislation to create a separate offence for lynching. “It is proposed to nip the evil in the bud and prevent spreading of hatred or incitement to mob lynching by creating special offences,” it said.

Life inprisonment

The Bill provides for life imprisonment and fine up to ₹5 lakh for the offence of lynching, appointment of a nodal officer of the rank of Inspector-General of Police to prevent lynchings and establishment of relief camps in safe zones for the victims. It defines lynching as an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation and ethnicity.

The Bill against honour killing laid down death penalty or life sentence and fine up to ₹5 lakh for killing a couple or either of them on the basis that their marriage had dishonoured or brought disrepute to the caste, community or family. The life sentence for the offence will mean imprisonment for the remainder of the convict's natural life.

Rights groups’ plea

Civil rights groups here have demanded that the two Bills be sent to the Assembly's Select Committee for getting the public inputs.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 6:46:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bills-against-lynching-honour-killing-introduced-in-rajasthan/article28763648.ece

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