Published: Tue, April 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

SC to hear Centre's plea for review of SC/ST judgment today

SC to hear Centre's plea for review of SC/ST judgment today

During the day the Centre moved a long-awaited review petition against a March 20 Supreme Court judgment that had abolished automatic arrests and case registration under the act, citing the need to prevent victimisation through false cases.

He said the Centre's review petition can not be an appeal against the March 20 verdict unless there is a patent error and no provision of the Act has been diluted or read down.

The Congress said the Centre took the Bharat bandh call "lightly", resulting in the violence.

The top court, however, said the plea would be listed and heard in due course.

The bandh call, supported by almost all opposition parties, was given to protest the Supreme Court order of March 20, which changed certain provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act related to arrest and registration of cases.

"Take action against those who unleashed terror on the streets of the state on the name of opposition to the Supreme Court order on SC/ST Act".

Highly placed sources in the government, meanwhile, said Attorney General K K Venugopal would mention the review petition in the top court tomorrow for an early hearing.

The central government said that when the mandate of Parliament is for strict implementation of law, it would not be permissible for the court to dilute the provisions of the Act by laying down guidelines.

On Monday, as the "Bharat Bandh" call given by several Dalit and Adivasi organizations derailed normal life across the country - states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand - and turned into a violent protest, the Centre gave desperate assurances of finding a judicial remedy.

The nation wide protests left close to a dozen deaths and many were left injured in sporadic incidents of violence that were reported across several states. Media reports said the government had restricted mobile internet services.

9 persons died in violence in Northern India yesterday even as Centre made a request to the Supreme Court to take up on "emergency basis" its petition seeking review of the above verdict. It adversely affects a substantial portion of the population of India being the members of SC/ST.

The Supreme Court has refused to stay its order in the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. In order to protect them, the provision of witness protection was introduced.

On March 20, the apex court ruled that public servants accused of hate crimes are to be prosecuted only after approval from the appointing authority and civilian delinquents can be arrested only after a legal inquiry, to be conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure that the allegations are not frivolous. "We have only reiterated the settled law of arrest, the settled law under CrPC" justice AK Goel said.

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