Jharkhand is planning to pass an anti-lynching bill, the fourth state to do so after Bengal, Rajasthan and Manipur.
The draft of the Jharkhand (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2021, will be tabled during the winter session of the Assembly, scheduled between December 16 and 22.
According to a list prepared by the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of human rights outfits and civil society groups, more than 30 tribal, tribal Christians and Muslims have either been lynched or beaten up on suspicion of cow slaughter, sale and consumption of beef and religious hatred between 2016 and 2021.
After the Supreme Court’s direction in 2018 on how states and the Centre should tackle the menace of mob lynching, Bengal, Rajasthan and Manipur have passed anti-lynching bills and sent them to President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Jharkhand draft bill proposes a death sentence for the guilty if someone loses his life due to lynching.
“The state government is bringing this bill to protect the constitutional rights of the people of Jharkhand. In this, there is a provision of three types of punishment. In case of death in the incident of lynching, a provision has been made for the death penalty to the guilty so that no one dares to take such a step or incite mob justice in the state,” said an official in the state law department. The official said the home department had approved the draft.
According to the draft, if someone gets hurt in lynching, then the guilty can be punished with imprisonment of up to three years and a fine between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh.
If someone gets grievously hurt, then the guilty can be punished with jail terms between 10 years and life imprisonment.