New Delhi: Several Dalit groups have called for a Bharat Bandh on Monday against the Supreme Court order to dilute the stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act.
The apex court on March 20 had taken note of the 'rampant misuse' of the stringent Act against government servants and had held that a public servant can only be arrested after approval of the appointing authority.
A non-public servant can be arrested after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) which may be granted in appropriate cases if considered necessary for reasons recorded, it had said, PTI reported.
The bandh has reportedly been extended support by various groups like the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, the Peasants and Workers Party and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, among others. The Rashtriya Seva Dal, the Jati Aant Sangharsh Samiti and National Dalit Movement for Justice, among others, are said to have also joined the protest.
Government to file a review petition on April 2, 2018
Meanwhile, the government will file a review petition before the SC on Monday, challenging the order.
"SC's decision on SC/ST protection act wouldn't be able to provide justice to suppressed people. Union government took cognizance of it and law ministry with our ministry, took a decision that review petition will be filed against SC's decision," Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said, as per ANI.
Review petition by the Government against the SC judgement on SC/ST Protection Act shall be filed positively on tomorrow, Monday, April 2
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) April 1, 2018
On the other hand, a delegation of NDA's SC and ST MPs, led by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Gehlot, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss the judgement.
What is the point of organising a Bharat Bandh tomorrow. The government is positively going to file the Review petition: Ramvilas Paswan, Union Minister on Review petition by the Government against the SC judgement on SC/ST Protection Act pic.twitter.com/sf72nlb1zE
— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2018
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) have also conveyed their views and demanded a review of the verdict, saying the original Act, as it existed before the SC verdict, should be restored.
The Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act, 1989 was amended recently to include new offences and to ensure speedy justice to victims. The amended law had come into effect from January 26, 2016.
(With Agency inputs)