Cabinet Approves Bill To Reciprocate Supreme Court's Order On SC/ST Act

| August 1 , 2018 , 18:03 IST

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave a green signal to a bill to restore the original provisions of a law on atrocities against the SC and ST. It is also said that the bill will be passed during the monsoon session of the Parliament.

The government was facing pressure from several quarters to bring Ordinance or bring a bill to overturn the Supreme Court's March 20 ruling in which it had barred immediate arrests in cases registered under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.  

National Spokesperson of the Congress Party, Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Finally the efforts of the party has worked out. Under the conspiracy, the Modi government, which had to abolish SC-ST oppression law, had to bow down.”

The court’s ruling in March had led to protests across the country by Dalit rights groups, claiming that the amended law would afford more protection to public officials if they committed offenses under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The Supreme Court had on March 20 'diluted' the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, ruling that government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens too, can be arrested only after an inquiry under the law.

The apex court had said that on several occasions, innocent citizens were being termed as accused and public servants deterred from performing their duties, which was never the intention of the legislature while enacting the SC/ST Act.

The SC/ST Act protects the minority communities against discrimination and atrocities.

BJP ally and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan had led the call to bring a new law to overturn the court order. Several ruling party MPs belonging to Dalit and tribal communities had also backed the demand.