The NDA government is all set to file a petition searching review of the Supreme Court order diluting the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which protects marginalized communities against discrimination and atrocities.
1- In the review petition drafted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Centre is likely to contend that the order will weaken the provisions of the Act, thereby reducing the fear of law, which may result in more violations.
2- On March 20, the Supreme Court banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the SC/ST Act, triggering widespread criticism and outcry from the dalit community.
3-The apex court said public servants can’t be prosecuted without the approval of the appointing authority, and private citizens too should be arrested only after an inquiry under the law.
4-It further ruled that preliminary inquiry in a case under the Act would be conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure the allegations are not frivolous.
5-The amendment in the law was a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.
6- However, dalit organizations and some political parties fear the dilution of the provisions of the Act might lead to increase in violence against Dalits.
7- After holding agitations over the last few days to protest against the top court’s ruling on the SC/ST Act, several dalit outfits have called for a Bharat Bandh today.
8- A delegation of dalit lawmakers is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today to apprise him of the issues concerning the SCs and STs, including the unhappiness among the community over the apex court verdict on SC/ST Act.
9-The Congress party, which has urged the Centre to file a review petition, will organise a demonstration on April 4 at Parliament Street against the verdict and the atrocities committed against dalits in different parts of the country.