SC verdict on Centre's SC/ST Act review plea on Tuesday

SC verdict on Centre's SC/ST Act review plea on Tuesday

The Supreme Court is to pronounce its judgement on Tuesday on a review petition filed by the Union government against the March 20, 2018 verdict that had “diluted” the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention to Atrocities) Act, 1989 by bringing in measures like anticipatory bail and prior inquiry before arrest of the accused.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai had on September 18 reserved its verdict saying the misuse of the law did not mean that it should be diluted.

A bench of Justices Mishra and U U Lalit had on September 13 referred the case to a three-judge bench in view of “the importance of the matter”. Justice Lalit was a part of the two-judge bench which had on March 20, 2018, delivered the judgement, triggering a huge political furore.

The Union government filed a review petition and pressed for restoring the stringent provisions. Along aside, Parliament on August 9, 2018, passed the Amendment Act to overturn the apex court order.

Subsequently, a batch of petitions was also filed by Prithvi Raj Chauhan and others, challenging the validity of the amendment, which has been posted for hearing separately.

The court had then refused to stay the operation of the amendment to the law brought in after the top court's judgement.

The Centre had maintained that the matter concerned the communities which faced thousands of years of atrocities, suppression and oppression. It had cited statistics to indicate various instances of Dalits' still facing discrimination in the country.

Justice A K Goel, who authored the March 20, 2018 judgement, had since retired. The judgement had found rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.