Will file review petition against SC verdict, says Prakash Ambedkar | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Will file review petition against SC verdict, says Prakash Ambedkar

The bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit had ruled that no arrests can be made under the act without a prior investigation.

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2018 00:11 IST
Naresh Kamath
Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar
Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar (HT file pho)

Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambedkar on Thursday said he will file a petition before a larger bench of the Supreme Court (SC) seeking review of the recent SC judgement on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit had ruled that no arrests can be made under the act without a prior investigation.

Currently the Act mandates that the police should immediately register a first information report (FIR) after receiving a complaint and arrest the accused. However, the SC ruled that a preliminary inquiry must be held before a case can be registered under the act.

According to Prakash Ambedkar, this would considerably dilute the law, meant to prevent oppression of Dalits and other marginalised groups. “The police department is known to resist such laws and to refuse to entertain complains. However, this rule of law provided some relief to oppressed people. The recent SC verdict will only embolden the police department who will not allow registration of these cases and increase the atrocities,” said Ambedkar.

Ambedkar cited the Lalita Kumari case, when the SC had ruled that an FIR needed to be filed first and only then can inquiries be conducted.

The SC also ruled that a court can now grant a pre-arrest bail(anticipatory bail) with regard to the act if the court, prima facie, finds the complaint is an abuse of the law, false, motivated and intended to blackmail or harass a person.

The atrocity law came into focus following the Kopardi rape and murder case in 2016, wherein a minor Maratha girl at Kopardi village was brutally raped and murdered by three Dalit youngsters. The crime caused a major outrage across the state and led to tensions between the Maratha and Dalit communities. The Maratha community launched silent marches across the state seeking stringent action against the accused, reservation for the Maratha community and an amendment to the SC/ST act which it alleged was being used by the Dalit community as a tool to harass others.

Ambedkar demands Bhide’a arrest

During his meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, Ambedkar demanded the arrest of Sambhaji Bhide by March 26 failing which he would organise a massive morcha in the Mumbai. Bhide has been accused of inciting people ahead of the Bhima Koregaon violence in January this year. The state government has filed a case against Bhide, but he has not yet been arrested. Another accused in the case, right-wing leader Milind Ekbote, was arrested after SC dismissed his anticipatory bail.