Mob Justice – UPSC Ethics

What do you understand by Mob Justice? Critically comment on the ethical aspect of this type of justice and explain as an administrator how will you deal with such incidences. (200 Words)

Mob justice is the verdict of the crowd by subverting the legal procedures and institution in situation of great injustice and mass suffering.
In one hand we have examples of Mob justices like lynching of a rape accused man in Nagaland , vandalizing of CHURCH by some radical groups in Delhi, and torching of
an HOSPITAL in Bihar . Which were totally against the law of the land, detrimental to society and catastrophic to personal and cultural liberty.
On the other hand we have examples like Storming of bastille in French revolution which was a mob’s action against the state and finally gave the world the ideal of liberty equality and fraternity to the world.
Indian freedom fighter often took their protest to road, blocking transport and choking government machinery – yes it was a mob justice in eyes of British administration.
Recently the anger protest by youths against Nirbhaya case was suppressed by then home minister who had said “If rascals take to street, will I go and talk to them”.
As an  administrator, It is our duty to recognize the character of a mob. If it falls in the first category then it has to be nipped in the bud by proactive measures such as deploying police in sensitive areas and preventive detention of its leaders.
But if the mob is out for social justice we should help by arranging proper place to hold protests and engaging in dialogue with them and come to solution by consensus. Though particular action would depend on situation and context but few precaution which can be taken by administrator are:
  1. Take away the accused from scene, preferably in police protection.
  2. Talk with leaders of community or gathering, persuade them to not take law in their hand and warn them of possible legal consequences for same.
  3. Immediately arrange for burial of dead bodies, if any. Such actions would subside the anger of mob to some extent.
  4. Assure the gathering of strict, severe and immediate action. The taking of accused in custody can be first step in such situation.
Overall administration should use his persuasive skills (using logic, reason and emotions) to convince crowd and disperse the gathering at earliest.


There is a wide spread view in India that persons committing heinous crimes like rape, murder or terrorism must be subjected to instant justice. Do you agree with this view and provide suitable arguments to justify your stance? (200 Words)
In the current judicial scenario that exists in our nation, instant trials and verdicts may not be viable. In spite of the constantly rising incidents of inhumane crimes, quick punishments will not provide the long term solution to curb them. Murder, terror and rape have dimensions apart from law that need to be looked into. Mental instability, exposure to violence, negative social circumstances are root causes that should be identified and eliminated. This does not mean that perpetrators can be justified for the crimes they commit.
No nation in the world can boast a hundred percent error free judicial mechanism. Focusing on speed may put stress on the investigation process. A hurried investigation and hasty verdict most certainly comes to inaccurate conclusions. Media and common man may take satisfaction in the quick implementation of justice but there is a chance that an innocent man may be  punished for a crime that he hasn’t committed. On the other hand the actual criminal may be convinced that he can get away with such acts unpunished and go on a crime spree.
We may be tempted to come to sudden conclusions regarding such cases. Justice delayed is justice denied no doubt but swift justice may not always be accurate. Evidences may be planted and witnesses may be bribed framing an innocent person.
The Indian Judiciary emphasizes on “even if a hundred culprits go free, not a single innocent man should be punished“. Sentences for such crimes are often severe, and it is our moral obligation to ensure that these sentences are handed to only the deserving.
Justice delayed is justice denied, but instant justice is a misnomer. Cardinal principle of Indian judiciary is “Even of hundred culprit go free, not a single innocent man should be punished”. So, justice by its very nature is deliberate, conscious and thus time taking.
However, current state of pendency of about 3 crore cases tells us about the inefficiency of our criminal justice system. In such a scenario, need is to fast track such heinous crime cases and ensure delivery of justice ASAP but without any race against the time.  Quick justice for these cases will act as deterrence for other criminals and delayed justice will motivate them to commit crimes.


“A society that believes that every woman, irrespective of her moral or sexual choices, has the right to her own body, must also believe that a person, irrespective of the crime he is accused of, has the right to the due process of law.” In the light of recent incidences where mobs took law in their hands, critically comment on the statement. (200 Words)
The constitution of India provides us the right to equality. It means like every man, a women has equal right and it is she who has the right to her own body irrespective of her morality or sexual choice.
In the recent incidents in Nagaland where we saw that an angry mob broke out into central jail and lynched and naked the accused in road where he died of injuries. In democratic set up and a society like ours the onus is primarily on the law to provide justice. No one has the right to take law in their own hands.
When the Nirbhaya incident took place almost every TV channels were talking about why the culprits not hanged? why the culprits not given death penalty? So it is eminent from the fact that people in large in our society are not legally literate. They do not understand criminology. When we talk about hang this man that means we are talking about revenge. But the Law doesn’t believe in taking revenge. The whole law is so built that we should either create prevention or we create a deterrent.
There for by lynching somebody we are not helping the victim or cause. The aim should not be finishing criminal but it should be crime.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top