Centre prepares ordinance to annul top court’s directive on SC/ST Act
The government had earlier this month filed a review petition against the top court’s verdict, pleading that the judgement diluted the Act.india Updated: Apr 17, 2018 23:43 IST
The Union law ministry is readying a draft ordinance to reverse the effect of the March 20 Supreme Court verdict that ordered checks on arrest of those accused of committing atrocities on SCs and STs, a government official said on Tuesday.
The government had earlier this month filed a review petition against the top court’s verdict, pleading that the judgement diluted the Act.
The SC ruled that “there is no absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide.”
The draft ordinance will overturn the Supreme Court order, in case the review falls through, the official said.
A top functionary in the government said, “We will not relent on the issue.” The government is however likely to wait first for the SC’s verdict on its petition, another official privy to the developments said.
Introducing a bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament slated for July to amend the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to overturn the SC order is the second option before the government, the sources said.
Dalit groups had organised protests across the country on April 2 against the alleged dilution of the Act through the March 20 verdict of the Supreme Court. The protests had turned violent at several places and left several people dead.
Opposition parties also accused the government of failing to protect Dalit rights.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday asserted his government will not let the law to prevent atrocities on SCs and STs to be diluted.
“I want to assure the nation that the law which has been made stringent by us will not allowed to be affected (by the SC order),” Modi said.
The apex court had laid down new guidelines for police officers on how to ensure that innocent people, especially public officials, are protected from false complaints under the act.