SC/ST Act: Under pressure from Opposition, Centre files review plea in Supreme Court

New Delhi, April 2: Facing stiff pressure from the opposition, the Central government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on Monday against the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act judgement. 

Addressing media Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said ” I wish to convey that today we’ve filed a petition on the judgement by Supreme Court on the SC/ST act. We have filed a comprehensive review petition which will be presented before the court by the senior lawyers of the government”.

Earlier on last Thursday, Addressing a press conference Prasad had said “the government has taken note of judgment of Supreme Court about laying doing new norms as per SC/ST operation is concerned. I have already instructed ministry of law over the desirability of filling a review and appropriate follow-up action”.

Prior to this, on March 28, a delegation of Dalit Ministers and MPs led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed issues arising out of the Supreme Court’s order.

On the same day, several opposition party leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind and demanded his intervention to press the government to file a review petition before the Apex Court over its verdict diluting the SC/ST Act.

The apex court on March 20, held that there is no absolute bar for granting anticipatory bail in a matter related to atrocities on SCs/STs.

It further stated that a public servant can be arrested after approval by some senior staffer.

A bench comprising of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit also noted that to avoid the false implication of an innocent, preliminary probe will be conducted by the DSP to chalk out whether the allegations make out a case under the Atrocities Act and that the allegations are not frivolous.

Later, the court observed that the government official cannot be prosecuted on a mere allegation of carrying out an offence under the Act without the sanction of appointing authority.

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