National

If Supreme Court Maintains Dilution Of SC/ST Act, Govt Will Pass Ordinance: Ram Vilas Paswan

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
2388
| May 8 , 2018 , 09:17 IST

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday expressed hope that the Supreme Court "will not dilute" the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as it had announced in March, which had lead to massive protests. The minister added that if the SC/ST Act were diluted, the Centre would pass an ordinance to ensure the rights of SC/STs and that there was no change in the legislation.

"The government is committed (for the welfare of SC/ST) and we hope the Supreme Court will not dilute the SC/ST Act and what is in the Act will remain," Paswan said to PTI.

"If there will be any dilution, then government will bring ordinance and we will see that nothing is changed," the Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister said to media.

ALSO READ: Supreme Court Issues Directions To Prevent Misuse of SC/ST Act

The Supreme Court on March 20 had issued a directive on the SC/ST Act, effectively diluting the Act, by saying that there should be no automatic arrests under the Act, and that preliminary investigations should take place before arrests. The apex court claimed that the SC/ST Act was being misused and innocent citizens were being arrested under the act.

In the aftermath of the apex court ruling, massive protests took place and Dalit organisations conducted a 'Bharat bandh' on April 2, during which 10 people were killed as the protests turned violent.

The Centre filed a review petition in the Supreme Court over the dilution of the SC/ST Act on April 2, however, the court refused to change its directive, and scheduled the next hearing on the Centre's review petition on May 16.