NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that prima facie it does not want to review the ruling on Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Responding to Attorney General of India KK Venugopal observations, the top court said, “Innocent should not be punished or thrown behind the bars without verification.'
Those agitating on streets may not have even read our judgment, added the Supreme Court.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Centre told the Supreme Court said that an emergency-like situation has unfurled in the country with thousands of people out on the road. Seeking a review of its order on the SC/ST (PoA) Act, the Attorney General, appearing on behalf of the Centre, said several people have died during the Bharat Bandh and violent protests on Monday and property worth thousands of crores has been destroyed.
The Amicus Curiae, Amrendra Sharan, however, opposed the Attorney General's contention saying law and order is the responsibility of the government.
On March 20, the Supreme Court had diluted the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, ruling that government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens too, can be arrested only after an inquiry under the law.
Opposing the verdict, several Dalit organisations had called for a nationwide strike yesterday in which violent incidents and blockades of roads and rail tracks were reported from several states.
At least 10 were killed and 65 injured during the bandh which witnessed clashes between the police and the protesters, arson and incidence of violence.
With agency inputs