SC talks tough, asks states to curb cow vigilantism
New Delhi: Talking tough, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked all states to take stern steps to stop violence in the name of cow protection by appointing a senior police officer as nodal officer in every district within a week and act promptly to check cow vigilantes from behaving like they are "law unto themselves".
Such acts "must stop", directed a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra which asked the states to form a dedicated task force in every district to stop such acts and directed their chief secretaries to file a status report giving details of actions taken to prevent incidents of cow vigilantism.
"The senior police officer shall take prompt action and ensure (that) vigilante groups and such people are prosecuted with quite a promptitude," the bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, said while issuing notice to the Centre and others on the PIL filed by Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
"The people should not take the law into their hands and they should not behave as if they were a law unto themselves. This must stop. Such acts are not permissible," the bench said in a stern message.
The bench asked the Centre to respond to the submission that it could issue directions under Article 256 (obligation of states and Union) of the Constitution to all state governments on issues related to law and order.
"Steps have to be taken to stop this. Some kind of planned action is required so that vigilantism does not grow.
Efforts have to be made to stop such vigilantism," the bench said, adding "how will they (states) do it, is their business but this must stop."