Centre must file review plea against ‘dilution’ of SC/ST Act, resolves Punjab assembly

The apex court had on March 20 taken note of misuse of provisions of the Act against government servants and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on complaint filed under the law

punjab Updated: Mar 26, 2018 22:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
SC ST Act,Punjab assembly
The resolution came up during Zero Hour after Congress MLA Sushil Kumar Rinku drew attention of the members towards the apex court’s order. (HT File)

The Vidhan Sabha of Punjab on Monday passed a resolution seeking an appeal for review of the Supreme Court verdict “diluting” provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The resolution came up during Zero Hour after Congress MLA Sushil Kumar Rinku drew attention of the members towards the apex court’s order.

Rinku said there is resentment in the SC community over it, and accused the Centre of not presenting the case well in the apex court. He was supported by three prominent Dalit leaders: technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi, welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, and Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka.

The apex court had on March 20 taken note of misuse of provisions of the Act against government servants and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on complaint filed under the law. Channi said it is a sensitive matter and the Dalit community is feeling hurt. “This has happened because of the anti-Dalit government at the Centre,” he said, referring to the BJP-led regime. However, BJP MLA Som Prakash said that even as this is an apex court order, the Congress remain in the habit of blaming the BJP for everything.

As Congress members pressed for the resolution, it was passed. “It will be now sent to the central government for filing a review against the court order,” said Rinku.

Earlier, among other issues taken up, leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira talked of protests by thousands of teachers associated with different unions in Ludhiana on Sunday and the police lathicharge on them. “There is resentment among the unemployed. Teachers also gathered in large numbers in Ludhiana to press for their demands, but the government used force against them. Over 52,000 anganwadi workers are also working at Rs 5,600 per month. What are you (government) doing about it?” he asked. However, speaker Rana KP Singh said the minister could raise issues during Zero Hour but not insist on reply from the government.

Another AAP MLA, Kanwar Sandhu, raised the issue of sugarcane dues to farmers from cooperative sugar mills to the tune of Rs 300 crore, and cane price in Punjab being lower than that in Haryana and Bihar. In response, finance minister Manpreet Badal said Rs 46 crore was due which was also cleared earlier in the day. Sandhu was not satisfied and later gave a notice of privilege against the minister for “misleading” the House.

First Published: Mar 26, 2018 22:07 IST