Regulators

I&B Ministry asks TV channels to follow Supreme Court orders in condemning lynching, mob violence

Channels asked to run a two-line scroll.

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MUMBAI: The country has seen an alarming increase in the incidences of lynching in the last few years. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has once again sent out an advisory to TV channels to comply with the Supreme Court’s directions to electronic media to condemn lynching and mob violence.

The relevant extract for TV channels from the Tehseen S Poonawalla vs Union of India and others reads: “The central and state governments should broadcast on radio and television and other media platforms including the official websites of Home Department and Police of the States that lynching and mob violence of any kind shall invite serious consequences under the law.”

The MIB advisory also requests channels to run the following messages in the form of a scroll: Mob violence and lynching is a serious crime and invites serious consequences under the law. Mob violence and lynching is a serious criminal offence and invites stringent punishment under the law.

The ministry mentioned that Doordarshan had already begun implementing the apex court’s order.

The MIB had previously directed TV channels to carry the warning in September 2018 to adhere to Supreme Court’s verdict on lynching, cow vigilantism and mobocracy. TV channels were asked to refer to the Supreme Court judgement dated 17 July 2018 and 24 September 2018. It also urged TV channels to “ensure widest possible outreach of the directions of the Supreme Court”.

The Supreme Court on 17 July 2018 had decried cases related to lynching and said mobocracy won’t be tolerated in civil society. It said, “No citizen can take the law into his hands nor become a law unto himself.”

In this regard, the Supreme Court bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had also ordered the centre and states to take strict action against lynching and mob vigilantism. It had warned people that indulging in it would attract the ‘wrath of law’.

In the last few years, there have been rising instances of lynching over fake news. One of such was the Dadri lynching in 2015 when a mob of around 50 people lynched a 52-year-old Muslim villager on the pretext of storing beef at his home. Similarly, two young travellers in Guwahati, Assam were also lynched on the allegation that they were child kidnappers.

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