Supreme Court refuses to stay amendments to SC/ST Act

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New Delhi | Published: January 24, 2019 3:21:38 PM

The Supreme Court today refused to stay the amendments to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which restored no anticipatory bail provision for somebody found guilty under it.

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The Supreme Court today refused to stay the amendments to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which restored no anticipatory bail provision for somebody found guilty under it. During the hearing, the bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said the pending review appeal that Centre filed against top court’s March 20, 2018 order and the pleas challenging the new amendments made in the order will be taken up jointly.

It has also referred the matter to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi for reconstitution of a bench that comprises Justice U U Lalit, who was part of the bench which had passed the verdict last year on March 20.

At the time, the bench took note of rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against central government servants. It had held that there will be no immediate arrest of any person on a complaint filed under the law.

In March last year, the bench led by Justice AK Goel, now retired, had said that there was no bar in granting anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if there is no prima facie case or in case the complaint is found to be prima facie malafide, Hindustan Times reported.

The top court also said that any government employee can only be arrested after an approval of the appointing authority and a non-public servant can be sent to jail after approval by the superintendent of police, in case considered necessary.

After being criticised by other political parties and SC/ST act, the NDA Government moved a review plea before the apex court, which did not accept Centre’s request to stay its judgment.

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The act was amended to invalidate the judgement and police were given the power to immediately arrest and denying of anticipatory bail to the accused.

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