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Published: Sat, September 09, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Cow Vigilantism: SC directs to appoint Dist Nodal Officers

Cow Vigilantism: SC directs to appoint Dist Nodal Officers

The Supreme Court today directed all states and Union territories to appoint special nodal officers drawn from police in each district to tackle the menace of cow vigilantism. While it is a party to a petition against cow vigilantes in the Supreme Court, the State recently saw a series of such cases in Shrigonda and Nagpur. The apex court has asked each state to appoint a senior police official to serve as the nodal officer in each district to ensure that such incidents do not take place. The court gave state governments one week to submit their reports on nomination of police officers and the instructions issued to them. "They say FIRs are being lodged".

The bench also asked the Centre to respond to the submission that it could issue directions under Article 256 of the Constitution to all state governments on issues related to law and order. The Centre can not turn its back on the violence.

Moreover, the court also directed the Center to share its response to the question raised by senior advocate Indira Jaising, for Tushar Gandhi, who is the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

The plea sought to declare as "unconstitutional" section 12 of the Gujarat Animal Prevention Act, 1954, Section 13 of Maharashtra Animal Prevention Act, 1976, and Section 15 of Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, which provide for protection of persons acting in good faith under the Act or rules.

While appreciating the Centre's stand, she said there were "many instances of vigilantism even after this statement" and asked the court to issue directions to the Centre.

A petition in this regard was filed by activist Tehseen S Poonawalla on October 21 last year.The petition also quoted the incidents in Rajasthan and other states where violence had erupted over the issue.

In a July meeting between the Chief Secretary, the Director General of Police, and officials of the Animal Husbandry department, it was made a decision to appoint the Animal Husbandry department as the nodal department for dealing with all cases of cow vigilantism. The court also asked Chief Secretaries of each state in consultation with DGPs to keep highways safe from cow vigilante groups.

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