SC/ST Protests

Centre files review plea on SC’s ruling on SC/ST Act

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Today, the Center filed a review petition against the judgement, of March 20, by a two- judge bench, justices A K Goel and U U Lalit, “diluted” the schedule caste/schedule tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act). The judgment banned the automatic arrest and registration of the criminal acts under the act.  Also, the accused will also be entitled to anticipatory bail, in case complain found out to be mala fide.

Supreme court held that public servants of judicial or quasi judicial body can not be prosecuted without the approval of appointing authority, and private citizens too should be arrested only after an inquiry under the law. Also, the preliminary inquiry, under the Act, will be conducted by Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure that the allegations are not frivolous.

Contrary to this, it was argued that such dilution results in the reduction of fear and will lead to violation of rights. Hence, would make the conditions more vulnerable.

The bench observed the misuse of the act and stated the instances of the abuse of Act through vesting interest against political opponents in municipal, panchayat, or other local elections. It was observed that mostly the complaint, under the Act, was filed against public servants of judicial body or quasi-judicial with an evil motive against the person.

With all the pressure mounts on the Center and the ruling party, review plea has been filed in the supreme court against the judgment on 2nd April, 2018.  Sources have stated that the immediate petition was filed to insure Dalit organization that the government aims to protect the rights of marginalized society.

The decision was taken with the consent and discussion between ministries of law and social justice.

Hence, the question arise as to look for the futuristic steps, that how the intent and fundamental approach of the Act would be preserved. Or it would be evolved as another incident of the conflict between judiciary and legislature.

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