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Supreme Court to hear plea regarding attacks on Christians on July 11

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The Supreme Court on Monday listed for July 11 a plea seeking implementation of the Court’s earlier guidelines on prevention of hate crimes, in view of the rising attacks on Christian institutions and priests across the country.

Appearing before the Vacation Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves said that on an average, 45-50 violent attacks take place against Christian institutions and priests every month throughout the country.

Requesting an urgent hearing on the matter, Gonsalves said that in May 2022, 57 cases of violence and attacks on Christian institutions and priests took place.

The Vacation Bench directed the Registry to list the petition on re-opening of the courts after summer vacation on July 11.

The petition sought implementation of the guidelines issued in the Tehseen Poonawala judgement, in which nodal officers were to be appointed to take note of hate crimes and register FIRs across the country.

The Supreme Court had, in 2018, formed a set of guidelines for the Centre and states regarding hate crimes. These included fast-tracked trials, deterrent of punishment, disciplinary action against the erring officials and victim compensation.

The Apex Court had then said that offences such as hate crimes, lynching incidents and cow vigilantism should be nipped in the bud.

It had directed the states to designate a senior police officer not below the rank of Police Superintendent as nodal officer in each district. It said these officers will set up a task force and take steps to prevent mob violence and lynching.

The Court further directed the state governments to identify the districts, sub-divisions and villages, where instances of lynching and mob violence had been reported in the recent past.

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