SC/ST Act: 3 BJP states to file review petitions

Smoke billows out of a burning bus during 'Bharat Bandh' call by Dalit organisations against the alleged dilution of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act, in Alwar. PTI

Facing the wrath of Dalits, three BJP-ruled states have decided to file a review petition against the Supreme Court order on SC/ST Act and not rush into implementing it following instructions from the top leadership.

Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had taken steps to implement the order but now they have now decided to put it on abeyance and approach the apex court for a review.

Left-ruled Kerala had become the first state to approach the Supreme Court seeking a review of its controversial order, which Dalits said was diluting the act preventing atrocities against them.

"We have spoken to these chief ministers and their governments will soon file a review petition in the court. It is natural that the implementation of the order will be put in abeyance till the judiciary takes a final call," a senior BJP leader said.

The move comes as Dalits are on a warpath against the BJP following the Supreme Court order.

The BJP is taking all steps to appease a resurgent Dalit community, whose Bharat Bandh on April 2 was a huge success. Even some of its Dalit MPs had raised a red flag.

The Centre has already filed a plea seeking review of the Supreme Court directive in the wake of large-scale protests by Dalit organisations.

Officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs also said the state governments are with the Centre on the issue of recalling the Supreme Court order diluting the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

"The Centre has made abundantly clear that there should be no dilution of the SC/ST Act. It has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court for the recall of its order. As far as states are concerned, they are also on board. They are in touch with the Centre and many of them are taking steps. Some have already announced that they will associate with the Centre," officials said.

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