Centre files review petition over SC/ST Act
RELOOK Tells Supreme Court that data shows weak execution of law, not its misuse; court refuses to hear plea urgently as sought by All India Federation of SC/ST organisations
The Centre on Monday moved the Supreme Court asking it to review its order in the SC/ST Act case as violent protests by Dalit groups erupted in several states leaving eight dead.
The top court refused to hear the petition urgently as sought by the All India Federation of SC/ST organisations, a conglomerate of nearly 150 employees groups. The federation said large-scale nationwide violence had taken place in which several people had lost their lives and therefore the petition should be heard urgently.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, justice AM Khanwilkar and justice DY Chandrachud said the petition will be heard in due course of time.
Advocate Manoj Gaurkella, appearing for the employees federation said the recent verdict passed by the apex court on March 20 was “unfair and unjust and it should be stayed”.
He said that this writ petition should be heard by a larger bench of five judges to decide the issue.
The Centre also sought an open hearing of its review petition, saying it was necessary for the court to hear their oral arguments.
As per SC rules, review petition is decided by judges in the chamber after it’s circulated among the judges who give the order under review.
Filing the review review petition, the Centre said, “Crime against SC/ST has continued unabatedly. Facts and data demonstrate weak implementation of the law and not its misuse. Therefore there is requirement for strict interpretation of the deterrent provisions.”
The top court had recently banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The top court had said that unless the exclusion of anticipatory bail is limited to “genuine cases and inapplicable to cases where there is no prima facie case was made out, there will be
no protection available to innocent citizens”.
It had said that “in view of the acknowledged abuse of law of arrest in cases under the Atrocities Act, arrest of a public servant can only be after approval of the appointing authority and of a non-public servant after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) which may be granted in appropriate cases if considered necessary for reasons recorded”.
It also said that the reasons recorded must be scrutinised by the magistrate for permitting further detention.
To avoid false implication of an innocent, the top court directed that a preliminary enquiry may be conducted by the DSP rank officer to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the Atrocities Act and whether the allegations are not frivolous or motivated.
The ruling came on a plea of Subhash Kashinath Mahajan, who while serving as the Director of Technical Education in Maharashtra government, was accused of refusing prosecution sanction against two senior officers of the department accused under SC/ST Act by a store keeper.
Mahajan challenged the order of May 5, 2017, of the Bombay high court that had refused to grant him anticipatory bail in the case and quash the FIR.
I charge the central government, and not the Supreme Court, that this law was weakened and diluted because the Centre did not represent the case properly before the court. GHULAM NABI
AZAD, Cong leader The Union govt has filed a review petition in SC. Our government is committed to protect the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. People should maintain peace. SHIVRAJ SINGH
CHOUHAN, MP CM
We are shocked and pained that some of my Dalit brothers and sisters have been killed and injured. We support their cause. I appeal for peace.
A student tends to her injured classmate at the Women’s College Science Block in Ranchi.
Protesters raise slogans in Jaipur, Rajasthan, on Monday.
Members of the Dalit community stop a train in Mathura on Monday.
Members of a Dalit organisation damage a bus in Bhopal on Monday.