Cow vigilantism: SC seeks response from Haryana, Rajasthan and UP on compliance of earlier order
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on a plea alleging failure to comply with an earlier court order to check instances of vigilantism over cow protection.
The matter was brought before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra who sought the response of chief secretaries of the three states on the issue.
The court was responding to a contempt plea by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, alleging non-compliance of orders by states in appointment of senior police officers for each district to serve as the nodal officer to rein in cow vigilantes, under earlier orders.
On 6 September, Chief Justice Misra had directed all states to appoint nodal officers and directed the Centre to obtain instructions from the concerned authorities and apprise the court on steps being taken to prevent such attacks.
The court had also directed the chief secretaries of every state to file a status report giving details of the actions taken to prevent incidents of cow vigilantism.
The Centre’s stand has been that it is a state subject where it did not have a role to play.
Four individuals - Martin Macwan, a Dalit rights activist, Mohanbhai Hamir Bhai Bedva, an alleged victim of such violence, Tehseen Poonawalla, an activist associated with the Congress and Tushar Gandhi—had moved the apex court last year seeking various reliefs, including a direction to all the governments to take preventive measures against cow vigilantism.
The court intervened in the controversy over cow protection and initially sought responses from the Centre and six states on the issue. The scope of the petition was widened to include the other 29 states and union territories as well.
The matter will be heard next on 3 April.