The cow vigilantes were attacking people particularly from lower rung of society and the minorities merely on grounds of suspicion of their being involved in the beef trade.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar issued a notice after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the court that so far no formal notice has been issued to the states in the matter.
The court had earlier issued notice to the Centre seeking its response on the plea.
The six states that have been asked to respond to the petition are Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Jharkhand.
The notice was issued on a PIL by entrepreneur and social activist Tehseen S. Poonawala.
On October 21, the apex court ordered that notice be served on the PIL to the Centre and six states — Karnataka, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The court on November 7 gave four weeks to the Centre and the six states to file their response in four weeks.
The Centre was given four more weeks on January 2 to file its reply to the petition.
Social activist Poonawalla had moved the Supreme Court seeking ban on the “Gau Rakshak Dals” and directions to the Centre and state governments to take action against their activities and “atrocities against Dalits and minorities” in the name of cow protection.
Poonawalla has referred to the series of violent incidents in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand, urging the court to direct the removal of violent content uploaded by the Gau Raksha Dals on social media.