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SC Will Review Its Decision On SC/ST Act In 10 Days, Refuses To Stay The Order

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| April 3 , 2018 , 16:08 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay its order on SC/ST Act and asked all parties to submit detailed replies within 2 days. The court was hearing of the review petition filed by the Central Government against it’s March 20 verdict on the Prevention Of Atrocities Act 1989.

The apex court, while hearing the petition submitted by Attorney General K.K Venugopal, said it was not against the act, and also stated that now the matter will be heard after 10 days.

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This comes a day after a violent protest during Bharat Bandh called by Dalit groups turned violent.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has constituted a Bench of judges A K Goel and U U Lalit to hear the matter. The apex court agreed to hear the review petition after Attorney General K K Venugopal referred to the large-scale violence and loss of lives and property during Monday's Bharat Bandh.

The AG said it was an emergency situation as large-scale violence had taken place and sought urgent hearing of the review petition today itself.

“We are not against the Act at all. We are only concerned with innocent people being put behind bars. We have only reiterated the settled law of arrest, the settled law under CrPC” justice AK Goel said.

While the government is arguing that safeguards provided by the top would dilute the Act, the Bench said that protesters may not have read the judgment.

The top court also clarified that it knows how to protect rights of citizens. The court said that it won’t change March 20 order on SC/ST verdict. The Supreme Court added that no automatic arrest will dilute the SC/ST Act.

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The apex court had on March 20 said, "In view of the acknowledged abuse of law of arrest in cases under the Atrocities Act, arrest of a public servant can only be after approval of the appointing authority and of a non-public servant after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) which may be granted in appropriate cases if considered necessary for reasons recorded."

The Centre, in its review petition, said the March 20 verdict has "wide ramification and implication resulting in dilution of the stringent provisions of law enacted under the 1989 enactment. It adversely affects a substantial portion of the population of India being the members of SC/ST. It is also contrary to the legislative policy of Parliament as reflected in the Prevention Of Atrocities Act 1989."