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Anti-mob lynching bill: Jharkhand governor returns back to state with objections

Ranchi: Jharkhand’s Raj Bhavan in Ranchi on Thursday said that it has returned the anti-mob lynching bill, which is awaiting governor Ramesh Bais’s consent for come into force, back to the state government with two-pronged objections raised on the draft.

According to sources in the governor house, the Bill was sent on the ground of mismatch between Hindi and English versions of the draft and over the definition of mob.

A statement from Raj Bhavan sources circulated to local media said, “There is a mismatch between Hindi version and English Version of the Bill. Section 2: Sub section-I, Sub Clause-xii deals with ‘Witness Protection Scheme’ (in English version of the Bill). This clause-xii is missing in the Hindi version of the Bill. This needs to be rectified/ corrected by the State Government so that there is a symmetry in both the versions of the Bill.”

“Secondly, there is a need to re-consider the definition of ‘mob’ as given in Section 2(vi) of the Bill, which is not in consonance or in line with the well-defined legal lexicon/glossary. A group of two or more individuals cannot be called ‘A tumultuous crowd’. A mob is large, angry and disorderly crowd of people who are often uncontrollable or violent. The State Government must re-visit the definition of the ’Mob’,” it added.

Neither the Raj Bhavan or the state government has officially commented on it till the time of filing this report.

Hemant Soren government tabled the anti-mob lynching bill in state assembly on December 21 last year during the winter session. Opposition BJP on the other hand criticized it as appeasement politics. 

The Bill has provision of life imprisonment and penalty of Rs 5 lakh- 25 lakh in case of death of a victim. In case of minor injuries, three years jail and Rs 3 lakh penalty is advised. Those who conspire, and aid in lynching will also be treated as guilty.