The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider listing the Centre's review and petitions challenging the amendments to the SC/ ST Act 2018, together before an appropriate bench.
The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider listing the Centre’s review and petitions challenging the amendments to the SC/ ST Act 2018, together before an appropriate bench. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will consider and do the needful.
Attorney General K K Venugopal said that a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri had on Thursday passed an order, saying it will be appropriate to hear the Centre’s review and writ petitions against the SC/ST Act 2018 together. The apex court had on Thursday refused to stay the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018 which restored the provision that no anticipatory bail be granted to the accused.
Parliament on August 9 last year had passed the bill to overturn the apex court order relating to certain safeguards against arrest under the SC and ST law. During Thursday’s hearing Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said that review petition and petitions against the Act should be heard together as there were similar questions of law.
On March 20, 2018, the apex court had taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and private individuals and said there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.
The top court had earlier said that the new amendments to the SC/ST law passed by Parliament cannot be stayed and had sought the Centre’s response on pleas challenging the provisions. The pleas have sought declaration of the new amendments to the Schedule Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as ultra vires. The amendments rule out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order.
They provide that no preliminary inquiry will be required for registering a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.
The court was hearing the pleas alleging that two Houses of Parliament had “arbitrarily” decided to amend the law and restored the previous provisions in such a manner so that an innocent cannot avail the right of anticipatory bail.