[Answered] Evaluate the effectiveness of the remedial measures directed by the Supreme Court to prevent mob violence and lynching. What are the challenges in their implementation?

Introduction: Give a brief context of SC guidelines.

Body: What are the measures directed by SC to curb lynching and mob violence?

Conclusion: Way forward.

Supreme Court expressed concerns regarding the inaction of various state governments over cases of mob violence and lynching of Muslims by cow vigilantes over the past five years, despite a Supreme Court judgment in Tehseen Poonawala versus Union of India in 2018 against vigilantism. The case highlights issues of police apathy, constitutional violations, and a breach of “duty of care” towards the victims.

Remedial measures directed by the Supreme Court to prevent mob violence and lynching:

  • Responsibility of the State: SC in Tehseen Poonawaala case highlighted that authorities of the States have the “principal obligation” to protect the lives of its citizens. The judgment noted that vigilantism ushers in anarchy, chaos, and disorder, and, eventually, there is an emergence of a violent society that cannot be tolerated in diverse countries like India.
  • Nodal Police Officer: SC directed state governments to appoint a designated nodal officer, not below the rank of Superintendent of Police for taking measures to prevent prejudice-motivated crimes like mob violence and lynching. He has the primary responsibility to monitor the investigation of such crimes.
  • Cooperative federalism: SC has noted that the cooperation of both centres and states is important in dealing with vigilantism. Both levels of government must also take steps to curb and stop inflammatory messages that may lead the mob to the violence of any kind.
  • Compensation to victims: SC has directed state governments to prepare a lynching or mob violence scheme to compensate the victims within one month.
  • Fast track courts: SC noted that states should set up Fast track courts in each district with courts expediting the process completely in 6 months.

Challenges in their implementation:

  • Accountability: There is a lack of accountability of state officials for the dereliction of their duty. This has led to a lack of deterrence among the violators and impunity.
  • Social Media: The rapid proliferation of social media has fueled mob mentality exacerbating the situation for state officials.
  • Delays in the Judicial system: Dealy in the legal process and huge pendency in district and trial courts has deterred victims from seeking justice which hampers the legal process.
  • Lack of trust: The mistrust between the communities stems from social tension, religious and caste divides, and lack of dialogue among different communities leading to violence.


Addressing the challenge of vigilantism requires multi multi-faceted approach involving all stakeholders like the judiciary, police, religious leaders, media responsibility, and public awareness campaigns to promote social harmony.

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