Centre tells SC verdict on SC/ST Act resulted in 'great damage'

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We hope the Supreme Court will take note of the fact that the SC/ST act is a special law.

The Centre has resorted to a major damage control exercise in its review petition filed in the Supreme Court on its judgment on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

"The judgment has diluted the provisions of the Act, resulting in great damage to the country".

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It said the top court's verdict, which had dealt with an issue of a "very sensitive nature", has caused "commotion", "anger, unease and a sense of disharmony" in the country.

Reports said that the government contended that the entire judgment was "vitiated" as the decision was taken on the basis that it can legislate, and has power "to make law when none exists". A Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit, on Thursday resumed hearing in the case against which the Centre had filed a review petition on April 2 following a Bharat Bandh call by various Dalit groups that saw nine people die in the ensuing violence across Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The submission came on a plea seeking recall of the court's March order where it said that no arrest would be effected on a complaint under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, without an inquiry. It held that a public servant can only be arrested after approval of the appointing authority. Political leader and activist Prakash Ambedkar, who presided over the meeting, said the government should bring a legislation in the Monsoon Session of Parliament to ensure adequate representation of SCs/STs, Dalits and adivasis in the judiciary.

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Jena said the Supreme Court judgement on March 18, 2018 has sealed the rights guaranteed by the Constitution on the future protection of dalit and Adivasi people from the oppression.

"The government is determined to maintaining the law as it was enacted".

He said the Centre's review petition can not be an appeal against the March 20 verdict unless there is a patent error and that no provision of the Act has been diluted.

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