SC/ST ?Act: ?govt to move review petition on dilution

SC/ST ?Act: ?govt to move review petition on dilution

The Centre will move the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a review of its judgement diluting the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

"Review petition by the government against the Supreme Court judgement on SC/ST Protection Act shall be filed positively by tomorrow - Monday, April 2," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced.

The March 20 judgement of the Supreme Court banning automatic arrests of persons facing allegations of harassing SCs/STs had faced tremendous backlash from Dalit and tribal communities.

Several Dalit rights organisations had called for a "Bharat bandh" on Monday to protest against the apex court order.

Dalit and tribal ministers in the central government had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week to press for a review of the judgement.

Opposition parties too had stepped up pressure on the government by approaching President Ram Nath Kovind and seeking his intervention in protecting the rights of Dalits and tribals.

Union ministers Thawar Chand Gehlot, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ramdas Athawale, Jual Oram, Arjun Ram Meghwal had voiced their concerns over the dilution of the act.

Paswan had said the Supreme Court order had taken away the strongest weapon the Dalits and tribals had to protect their dignity.

"On the one hand, atrocities against Dalits are increasing and, on the other, their biggest weapon against atrocities is being diluted," Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said.

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