Masuka, abbreviated for Manav Suraksha Kanoon has gained quite popularity in the recent days through immense media attention and celebrities endorsements. Inspite of the hike and glare sizzled at Masuka through media, the common public remains unnoticed of the value of having a Masuka law. The unsung question that remains in the mind of the people is the real meaning and importance of Manav Suraksha Kanoon.

MASUKA is basically an acronym given to the draft prepared against mob lynching in India. It is originally titled The Protection from Lynching Act, 2017. The draft has been presented by the team of National Campaign against Mob Lynching headed by youth leaders Tehseen Poonawalla, Shehla Rashid, Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mewani. The draft of the Masuka law was first revealed in the Constitution Club on 7th July, 2017 New Delhi by Prakash Ambedkar grandson of B.R. Ambedkar. The draft has been prepared by a committee consisting of Senior Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hedge, Pranjal Kishore, Professor Manoj Jha, Anas Tanwir and many more eminent qualified personalities, which makes it a well written law.

The draft focuses on the key areas of punishing the people responsible for mob lynching with life imprisonment,  protection of the vulnerable person, limiting the trail period for six months and providing rehabilitation and compensation to the victims and their family, but most importantly it defines ‘mob’ and ‘lynching’. [1]

History:

‘Mob Lynching’ is a mode of punishment executed by group of people informally. These mob executions are extrajudicial and create criminal charges against the group or people. The origin of lynch comes from the phrase ‘lynch law’ refereeing to the punishments without trail during the period of American Revolution. Two brothers Charles Lynch and William Lynch are marked as the framing of the lynch law, which absolved them and their association from any kind of misconduct.

 Thereafter, lynch law came to be known as an assumption of extrajudicial authority and started inhibiting in the United States of America. Indians had professed mob lynching as a social practice of showing aggression.

Mob violence in India has grown like a tradition. The agitation filled in people pertaining to anger and intolerance due to caste and religions have made lynching a common phenomenon. Mob lynching turned extreme aggression had led to the failure in constitutional machinery of the country. People taking law in their own hands and deciding upon their own sense of justice is disaster to our judicial system. The requirement of Masuka law is hence a necessity for India and Indians.

Lately, there has been some cruel instance of mob violence which has raised serious concerns. The bolt has driven attention on the line of incidence happened in the country in the past months, as on 7th June 2017 a muslim man was attacked in Dhanbad, Jharkand on suspicion of carrying beef to Iftar party; on 17th June Zafar Hussain was lynched in Rajasthan for resisting photography of women defecating in the public; on 22nd June Deputy SP Ayub Pandith was lynched by mob on duty in Srinagar; and on 24th June, 17 Hafiz Junaid khan was lynched to death for fight over seats and was remarked as the ‘beef-eater’ and three other Muslim guys in West Bengal.[2]

These all murder circumscribes reasons of social intolerance relating to caste, religion and other mutual infirmities. To protest against the menace of lynching several Indian cities marked #NotInMyName protest, displaying the unity of the nation in condemning the wrong happening in the society. The movement was supported by eminent personalities, lawyers, political leaders and citizens all over the country.

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Source: The Quint

What does the draft says?

Currently, India has no sui generis law on mob lynching, it is generally covered in the premise of Penal punishment under murder, culpable homicide, riot, unlawful assembly, hurt, grievous hurt, common intention as defined in Indian Penal Code. The inadequacy of IPC to meet areas of witness protection, investigation, power of police and other authorities, schemes of compensation and prohibition of mob lynching had led to the need of having a separate law.

The draft provision of The Protection from Lynching Act, 2017 aims to provide protection of the constitutional rights of individuals to get equal protection of law, also to provide for special courts to foster speedy and expedited trails of such offences and for punishments and rehabilitation of the victims.

The draft also takes step to ensure the duties of police officers to prevent any act of lynching and authorizes powers to the authority concerns. It makes lynching a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Provision contemplating to powers and procedure of judges, procedure of appeals, compensation period and amount, review committee, rights of victims and witness during trail, and consequence dereliction of duty by police officers.

The provision inculcated in the draft is cautioned to protect the citizen and to ensure a smooth flow of the judicial system. The Masuka draft has gained momentum on social media. There has also been an online petition initiated to appeal the government to consider the Bill and table it as a government Bill.

The insufficient backing of the current position of law on mob lynching makes the government answerable to the appeals of the people and to establish a separate law to deal with these matters. Masuka Law therefore, would ascertain a street level protection of individual, and would establish a tough and stringent law to guarantee law and order in the country.

i2Author: Anushtha Srivastava

You can reach author at: anushtha100@gmail.com 

Anushtha is currently pursuing law from UPES, Dehradun. She is also a content writer with TA. 

 

 

 

Endnotes: 

[1] http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/national-campaign-against-mob-lynching-masuka-manav-suraksha-kanoon/1/996682.html

[2] https://www.thequint.com/news/2017/07/07/masuka-law-mob-lynching

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