By: Gaurav Nandan Tripathi
A bench led by Chief Justice Deepak Mishra responded to the contempt petition of Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of the Mahatma, by issuing notices to the states of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan. The apex court asked why these states, in spite of its orders, were not able to stop cow vigilantism in their boundaries. Tushar Gandhi in his contempt petition remarked that these states hadn’t
complied with the apex court’s order to stop and take strict action against cow vigilantism in their state. The court has asked the state to reply by 4 th of April. September 6 last year was the date when the court directed these states to control the activities of cow vigilantes who were behaving like “law unto themselves”. The court recommended the commissioning of a senior police
officer in every district as a nodal officer, and taking strict steps against any act of such vigilantism. The court has observed that these vigilantes took the laws in their own hands, and these states should stop this kind of mishandling of rules. The court went on to ask for more and more highway patrolling as these were the places where vehicles were attacked, by giving the reason that they are either carrying cows for slaughter or are carrying beef. The supreme court also informed the centre and asked to issue directions under Article 256 of the Constitution, to all the state governments regarding law and order in the state.
It is noteworthy that in the last few years this practice of cow vigilantism and ‘gau rakshaks’ had seen people taking the law and order in their own hands. It is a very pertinent practice of moral policing, and the Apex court’s attention to the gravity of such an ill practice is noteworthy. It still remains how the BJP ruled states of UP, Rajasthan, and Haryana respond to the notice.