SC pulls up state govts over vandalism during agitations

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the state governments to act tough and take strict and necessary actions against those, allegedly involved in vandalism and hooliganism, during protests.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice (CJI) Dipak Misra, and also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said that the crimes committed by groups of ‘self-appointed keepers of public morality’ may be on account of different reasons, but the underlying purpose of such group of persons is to exercise ‘unlawful power of authority’.

The Court passed the order, after hearing in detail the arguments from various parties. The top court of the country was hearing a plea filed by Kodungallur Film Society that highlighted law and order problems, arising out of the release of several films, especially the violence surrounding the release of movie ‘Padmaavat‘ earlier this year.

The bench said, ”Nobody has the right to become a self-appointed guardian of the law and forcibly administer his or her own interpretation of the law on others, especially not with violent means”.

While stressing the need to stop all kinds of mob violence, the Court said, “Mob violence runs against the very core of our established legal principles, since it signals chaos and lawlessness and the state has a duty to protect its citizens against the illegal and reprehensible acts of such groups.”
The apex court also made it clear in its order that it was the duty of the state to take actions, especially against those persons who took law into their own hands. The state investigating agencies must be prepared to handle such kind of anti-social elements, it added. 

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