Cow Vigilantism: SC directs all States to appoint nodal officer to prevent further incidents

Supreme Court: The The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar, JJ  directed all the States to nominate a senior Police Officer for each District as Nodal Officer, who shall see to it that the cow vigilantes do not take law unto themselves and the deviants in law are booked quite promptly.

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising had urged before the Court that the law and order enforcing agencies of the States have great responsibility not only to register the First Information Report (FIR) after the incident takes place but also see to it that groups or a class of people do not take the law into their hands and indulge in vigilantism. She also submitted that under Article 256 of the Constitution of India, it is the obligation of the Central Government to issue directions to the States so that the concept of cooperative federalism is sustained and remains stable.

On the question relating to patrolling on the highways so that such crimes are stopped, the Court asked ASG Tushar Mehta, appearing for the States of Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, to obtain instructions in this regard and also apprise what steps have been taken by the said four States. The Court asked the Chief Secretary of each State, in consultation with the Director General of Police, to take steps and file affidavits by the next date of hearing i.e. 22.09.2017. [Tehseen S. Poonawala v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1052, order dated 06.09.2017]

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