New Delhi: The government will file a review petition before the Supreme Court on Monday, challenging its order banning automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of SCs and STs.
The petition will be filed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, a senior government official was quoted as saying by PTI. Union Law and Justice Minister also Ravi Shankar Prasad also tweeted:
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
The apex court on March 20 had taken note of the alleged 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
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 March 28, 2018, to discuss the apex court judgement.
On the same day, leaders of several Opposition parties met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought his intervention to press the government to file a review petition before the SC over its verdict diluting the act.
The delegation had included leaders from the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party, the DMK and the Nationalist Congress Party.
Talking to reporters later, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said that atrocities against the Dalits were increasing but the act was being weakened, as per IANS.
Meanwhile, 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)