SC says protests mis­led, de­clines to stay its or­der

Alive - - Editorial -

It is no won­der that the Supreme Court on April 3 re­fused to put in abeyance its land­mark judg­ment ti­tled Dr Sub­hash Kashinath Ma­ha­jan vs. The State of Ma­ha­rash­tra and an­other which was de­liv­ered on March 20 ban­ning au­to­matic ar­rests with­out prior per­mis­sions for of­fences un­der the Sched­uled Castes and the Sched­uled Tribes (Pre­ven­tion of Atroc­i­ties) Act, 1989, say­ing its March 20 or­der only meant to safe­guard in­no­cent peo­ple with­out af­fect­ing the rights of the marginalised com­mu­ni­ties.

It is most shame­ful and shock­ing that po­lit­i­cal par­ties just for gain­ing max­i­mum po­lit­i­cal mileage used this land­mark rul­ing to send a wrong mes­sage that the rights of the Sched­uled Castes and the Sched­uled Tribes were now go­ing to end and they would not get any reser­va­tion ben­e­fit also.

The Apex Court, how­ever, said it would con­sider the ar­gu­ments against its judg­ment from all par­ties in­volved at the next hear­ing that will be sched­uled some­time af­ter 10 days. The Bench of Jus­tices AK Goel and UU Lalit was hear­ing a re­view pe­ti­tion filed by the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance (NDA) govern­ment a day af­ter nine peo­ple were killed in vi­o­lent protests in sev­eral parts of the coun­try, prompt­ing lead­ers of all ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties to call for an ur­gent need to re­con­sider what they de­scribed as a “di­lu­tion” of the act by the court. On Tues­day, the court asked for writ­ten sub­mis­sions from all par­ties in­volved and re­fused in­ter­ven­tion by oth­ers who were not party to the case that orig­i­nated in Ma­ha­rash­tra.

Sim­ply put, the Apex Court made it ab­so­lutely clear about its land­mark judg­ment just men­tioned: The peo­ple who are ag­i­tat­ing over the Supreme Court or­der may not have read the judg­ment prop­erly.

The Dalit pro­test­ers must have been mis­led by peo­ple with vested

The Bench of Jus­tices AK Goel and UU Lalit was hear­ing a re­view pe­ti­tion filed by the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance (NDA) govern­ment a day af­ter nine peo­ple were killed in vi­o­lent protests in sev­eral parts of the coun­try, prompt­ing lead­ers of all ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties to call for an ur­gent need to re­con­sider what they de­scribed as a “di­lu­tion” of the act by the court.

in­ter­ests.

The court has not di­luted any pro­vi­sion of the SC/ST Act but only safe­guarded the in­ter­ests of the in­no­cents.

Only of­fences men­tioned in the SC/ST Act are the sub­ject mat­ter of the judg­ment and other cog­niz­able of­fences un­der IPC would not re­quire in­quiry be­fore an FIR. Need­less to say, Jus­tice AK Goel who au­thored the ver­dict very rightly ob­served that, “An in­no­cent should not be pun­ished. There should not be ter­ror in so­ci­ety…We do not want any mem­ber of the SC/ST to be de­prived of his rights. We only want an in­no­cent not to be pun­ished. He also rightly said that, “The judg­ment, in fact, for­ti­fies the Dalit pro­tec­tion law – the Sched­uled castes and the Sched­uled Tribes (Pre­ven­tion of Atroc­i­ties) Act of 1989. Ab­so­lutely right! Where is the doubt in it? Only those po­lit­i­cal par­ties who have vested po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests to ful­fil have spread ab­so­lutely false ru­mours about the land­mark judg­ment which are noth­ing but a web of lies and a fig­ment of fake imag­i­na­tion!

Not stop­ping here, Jus­tice Goel also rightly ob­served while ad­dress­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral KK Venu­gopal that, “Our judg­ment im­ple­ments what is said in the Con­sti­tu­tion. We are con­scious of the rights of the un­der­priv­i­leged and place them at the high­est pedestal…but at the same time, an in­no­cent per­son can­not be falsely im­pli­cated and ar­rested with­out proper ver­i­fi­ca­tion. We have not stopped the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Act. Does the Act man­date the ar­rest of in­no­cent per­sons? Our judg­ment is not against the Act.” He called the judg­ment a ‘bal­ance’ be­tween Dalit rights and right of an in­no­cent against ar­rest in a false case. There can be no deny­ing or dis­put­ing it!

Un­ruly mobs in the name of bandh.

Ar­sons and vi­o­lence over SC's ver­dict.

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