It also asked the state governments to list steps they will take to step up security on highways, where cow vigilantes have stopped vehicles carrying cattle and attacked people
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for failing to take stern action against rising instances of cow vigilantism.
Seeking a reply from the three states by April 3, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud stated that the contempt petition would be heard along with the main case filed by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who sought directions from the Centre and states to take preventive measures against cow vigilantism.
On September 6, 2017, the apex court had directed all state governments to appoint a senior police officer as a nodal officer in each district to ensure that incidents of cow vigilantism are prevented and dealt with effectively. The job of these nodal officers, the court said, would be to ensure that vigilantes did not become a law unto themselves.
“The senior police officer shall take prompt action and will ensure vigilante groups and such people are prosecuted with promptitude,” the bench had said. The SC had also directed chief secretaries of all states to file a status report giving details of the actions taken to prevent incidents of cow vigilantism.
It also asked the state governments to list steps they will take to step up security on highways, where cow vigilantes have stopped vehicles carrying cattle and attacked people.
While passing the order, the bench also rejected the contentions of additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for four BJP-ruled states.
The bench also sought the Centre’s response to the petitioner’s plea that the Centre issue directions under Article 256 of the Constitution to all state governments on issues related to law and order.