SC ends bar on arrests in SC/ST cases, says struggle for civil rights is on
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Centre’s review petition against its 2018 order diluting provisions of the SC/ST Act, saying the court should not have framed guidelines as it fell in the legislature’s domain.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai said the struggle for equality and civil rights of people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes is still not over in the country and they are still discriminated.
The court also said untouchability has not vanished and rued that those involved in scavenging had still not been provided modern facilities.
The court recalled directions which mandated prior sanction for arrest of public servants and private persons. Tuesday’s order also does away with the requirement of preliminary enquiry before registering FIR.
In March last year, the court banned automatic arrests and registration of cases under the law and said there was no absolute bar against the grant of anticipatory bail in cases of atrocities against SC and ST communities.
The verdict was criticised by experts and political parties for making the socially disadvantaged sections vulnerable and led to protests in some parts of the country.
The Centre had challenged the SC judgment that tweaked provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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