In the wake of recent violence in parts of northern India, allegedly by Kanwarias, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday decried what it said is the increasing lawlessness and vandalism indulged in by religious groups and said it would lay down guidelines to prevent vandalism by mobs.
The top court further said the destruction of private property, even if no FIR is filed, is a cognizable offence and the police must act.
Attorney general (AG) KK Venugopal said, “it has become a free for all for religious groups to indulge in vandalism”, just like happened in the lead up to the release of the film ‘Padmavat’. In such cases, Venugopal said the SC must fix responsibility and accountability on the superintendent of police of each district against such vandalism.
A bench led by CJI Dipak Misra said the SC had passed a judgment in 2009 asking for videography of every procession and fixing responsibility on the organisers if protesters indulged in vandalism. It added that it will sharpen these norms to prevent future violence.
AG Venugopal said that when ‘Padmavat’ was released, a particular group threatened to cut off the nose of the lead actress.
“Will any civilised country tolerate this? What has been done to the person who gave such threat? We must fix responsibility on police to act fast in such situations,” said Venugopal.>