Supreme Court on Wednesday gave a stern warning to state governments across India asking them to take action against the self-appointed 'gau rakshaks'. The apex court has asked states to appoint a senior police officer in each district as nodal officer to take action against cow vigilantism.
Cow vigilantes have been responsible of injuries and deaths of several innocent cattle traders and meat shop owners, who were beaten up on mere suspicion of beef trading or cow slaughter.
SC also said Central and state governments must take effective steps to stop cow vigilante groups from taking law in their hands.
ASG Tushar Mehta representing Centre told SC that law was there to take care of any kind of untoward incidents.
CJI Dipak Misra said 'We know laws are there, but what action has been taken? You can take planned action so that vigilantism does not grow'.
In July, SC had asked Centre and States to file an affidavit on the issue of cow vigilantism and asked them not to protect any kind of vigilantism.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra was informed by the Centre that law and order is a state subject but it does not support any kind of vigilantism in the country.
"You say that law and order is a state subject and states are taking actions as per law. You don't protect any kind of vigilantism," the bench, also comprising A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, had said.
Saying that it does not support any kind of violence in the name of cow, the government of India told the apex court, “no vigilante group has any place in the country as per the procedure of law.”
Counsel appearing for BJP-ruled Gujarat and Jharkhand where violent incidents related to cow vigilantism have taken place lately submitted in the court that “appropriate action has been taken against those involved in violent activities related to cow vigilantism.”
The bench recorded their submission and asked the Centre and other states to file their report regarding the violent incidents in four weeks’ time and posted the matter for further hearing on September 6.