The West Bengal legislative assembly on Friday passed a bill to check incidents of mob assaults and lynching and criminalized such actions. The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 was tabled in the House on Friday and supported by opposition Congress and CPI (M).The BJP, which has emerged as the main opposition party in this year’s parliamentary elections, neither supported nor opposed the bill as it felt that the legislation may be used for settling political scores.
"Lynching is a social evil and all of us have to come together to fight against this evil. The Supreme Court has given direction to take action against lynching. " Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said while speaking on the bill in the House. "The central government should have brought a law against it. But as it is yet to do so, we are we are bringing this law in our state to fight against this social evil. We need to raise awareness against the incident of lynching," she added. The bill aims at protecting the constitutional rights of vulnerable persons and prevent lynching and proposes action against those involved in perpetrating the crime.
The legislation also pitches for varying jail terms ranging from three years to life for those involved in assaulting and injuring a victim. In case of death of the victim, the bill envisages that persons responsible for the incident be punished with rigorous life imprisonment and slap with a fine up to Rs 5 lakh.