New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Parliament to enact a separate offence on lynching or mob violence and provide for stringent punishment for it.

Stating that “mobocracy" must be curbed, a three-judge bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud asserted that it was the duty of the state to maintain law and order.

The court further said that “command of law" was supreme and no citizen should be allowed to take law into his own hands.

The apex court passed a slew of directions in a batch of public interest litigation seeking relief against cow vigilantism in the country, and asked the Centre and states to submit a compliance report in four weeks.

Earlier this month, the court had condemned rising incidence of mob violence in the country and stated that it would pass directions on the issue.

In September last year, the Supreme Court had directed all states to appoint a senior police officer for each district to serve as the nodal officer to ensure that cow vigilantism groups do not take the law into their own hands. The apex court had also directed the chief secretaries of every state to file a status report giving details of the action taken to prevent incidents of cow vigilantism.

The matter will be next heard on 28 August.

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