Decision Today On Recall Of Supreme Court’s Dalit Atrocities Law Order
A decision on the controversial order, that allegedly diluted the stringent provisions of a law protecting Scheduled Casts and Tribes, will be taken by the Supreme Court today. A petition has asked the court for a recall of its order of March 2018, which said there will be no immediate arrest for complaints under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
The court’s other two decisions – the introduction of anticipatory bail provisions and preliminary probe by the police before arrest also triggered an uproar. Following the outrage and the subsequent political pressure, the Centre had asked the top court to rethink its verdict.
The Centre had argued that its judgment diluting the stringent provision of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act holding that arrest on a complaint under the law was not mandatory had “seriously affected their (SC/ST) morale and confidence in the ability of the state to protect them”.
The court said the changes were necessary to protect the innocent, pointing out that the law was being misused on certain occasions and public servants were being stopped from doing their duty.
The government was strongly criticized by Dalit groups, which accused it of failing to take prompt action and ask the court for a review of its decision. On April 2 last year, nearly a dozen people died as Dalit groups resorted to violence to enforce a countrywide shutdown in protest against the court order.
The government, which, by then had announced that it would file a review petition, accused the opposition parties of instigating the violence.
The Centre has since made amendments in the law to overcome the top court’s order diluting the provision of arrest. This law was not stayed by the top court.