SC/ST Act: Centre approves filling of review petition in Supreme Court

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New Delhi | Published: March 29, 2018 4:18:40 PM

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government has taken note of the directives of the apex court about laying down new norms and will soon do the needful.

Supreme Court, Law Ministry, SC/ST Act, Ravi Shankar PrasadSC/ST Act: Centre approves filling of review petition in Supreme Court

The Union Law Ministry has approved filing of a review petition in the Supreme Court on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act). Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government has taken note of the directives of the apex court about laying down new norms and will soon do the needful.

“I have already instructed the Ministry of Law over the desirability of filling a review and appropriate follow-up action,” Prasad said.

Earlier this month, the court had passed an order that diluted the provisions for immediate arrest under the Act. The court had ruled that preliminary enquiry in a case under the Act would be done by the DSP to ensure there is no misuse of the law and also to avoid false implication of an innocent. The court had also observed that a government official can’t be arrested on a mere allegation of committing an offence. It had said that to prosecute a government servant, prior approval from the competent authority would be a must.

Since then, lawmakers from opposition parties have been demanding that the Centre file a review petition in the court. They had even called on the President to discuss the issue. Opposition leaders had alleged that the latest order will only result in delaying justice to the victims of the SC/ST communities who are mostly poor and also give time to culprits to delete proofs.

PTI had reported that Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot had taken a serious note of the SC ruling and sought suggestions from Prasad. He had also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah to discuss the matter. Gehlot had said that he feels the court order will make the law ineffective and may defeat the real purpose of the Act which aims to ensure swift justice for victims of atrocities against SC/ST communities.

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