Supreme Court seeks response from Centre on new amendments to SC/ST Act
New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Friday, sought the Modi government’s response on a bunch of pleas that seeks the court to declare the new amendments in the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribe Act (Prevention of Atrocities) as ultra vires.
The Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act, 1989, is an act of Parliament enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
A bench of Justice AK Sikhri and Justice Ashok Bhushan issued a notice to the Centre and sought its reply within six weeks. The court was hearing a plea, which alleged both the houses of Parliament had “arbitrarily” decided to amend the law in such a manner that an innocent cannot get anticipatory bail.
On August 9, Parliament had passed a bill to overturn the Supreme Court order concerning certain safeguards against arrest under the SC/ST Act. The apex court, on March 20, while taking note of the rampant misuse of the stringent provisions of the law, passed an order that there shall be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.
The new amendments rule out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs under the law, any court order notwithstanding. It provides that no preliminary inquiry will be required for registering a criminal case against an individual or a group of individuals and an arrest or arrests under this law would not require any approval.
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