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SC judgment on SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act Ordinance an option if directive is not withdrawn: Gehlot

Gehlot said when Act was valid then restraining some sections of the Act was not appropriate

bhopal Updated: May 19, 2018 22:57 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
social justice,SC/ST Act,ordinance
Union minister for social justice and empowerment Thaver Chand Gehlot (in the middle) addressing a press conference in Bhopal(HT photo)

Union minister for social justice and empowerment Thaver Chand Gehlot said here on Friday the government would wait for the Supreme Court judgment on its review petition on SC/ST Act. However, if the directive was not withdrawn issued by the court earlier in respect with certain sections of the Act other options would be open including ordinance one, he added.

In reply to a question during a press conference the union minister also said when Act was valid then restraining some sections of the Act was not appropriate (Jab Act valid hai to dharaon par ankush lagana uchit nahi hai).

“Hum nirnay ka intezar kar rahe hain. Agar nirnay us Act me ankush lagaane ke kuchh jo nirdesh huye hain unko wapas nahi liye jaayenge to as it is Act lagu rahe isko amal me lane ki drishti se jo jo upaay ho sakte hain, usme ordinance bhi hai, ye saare vikalp khule hain (We are waiting for the judgment. If the directive issued to restrain certain sections of Act is not withdrawn then whatever options there are including an ordinance will be open, to maintain status of the Act as it is)”, he said.

He said there was a recent hearing on the review petition filed by the central government (against the court’s directive regarding no arrest without inquiry). Then there would come the summer vacation. One of the justices of the bench hearing the petition was going to retire. Hence, the bench would be reconstituted. Then, there would be the judgment.

Gehlot said after the Supreme Court’s directive on certain sections of the Act the central government quoted a figure of NCRB which suggested that out of about 15000 cases (lodged under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act) there were 1000-1200 false cases. But there were false cases filed under Indian Penal Code too. In the context of false cases there were provisions under certain sections of IPC to initiate action against those who file false cases. But majority of the cases were of such people who were looking for justice. Hence, such a restraint would be an obstacle in the way of justice.

Referring to National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) to be established in Bhopal the union minister said this would be a unique centre in the country. The central cabinet approved it on May 16. The state government had allotted 5 acre land in the city. There would be 25 acre of land to be allotted outside the city as a part of the institute. Besides running diploma and postgraduate courses the institute would work for rehabilitation of 400 people at a time suffering from several mental problems.

He said a budget of Rs 180 crore had been earmarked for the institute. The buildings on the 5 acre land would come up in 2 years. Till then, the institute would run in a rented building. The institute would start functioning in the next two months. There would be 231 posts including 124 regular ones. About 215 to 250 people would get temporary employment. The government was collaborating with Boston University to run the institute and escalate it as an international institute.

First Published: May 19, 2018 22:57 IST