SC/ST Act: SC Reverses 2018 Order, Mayawati Hails Verdict

The verdict had led to a massive outcry and protests by different SC/ST organisations across the country.

2 min read
Image of a Dalit protest used for representational purposes.

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, 1 October, allowed the Centre’s review petition challenging the dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, reversing its March 2018 order.

The bench said directions issued were “not called for” and were not within the parameters of Article 142 of Constitution.

The Centre had contended that the March 2018 verdict was "problematic" and it should be reviewed by the court.

The verdict had led to a massive outcry and protests by different SC/ST organisations across the country.

Some of the parties supporting the verdict had said that the Centre's review has become infructuous as Parliament has already passed the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018 to neutralise the effects of the judgement.


What Was The SC Order About

The apex court had taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and private individuals and said there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

The top 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 Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The apex court had said that there is no absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act, if no prima facie case is made out or where the complaint is found to be prima facie malafide.

It had said that 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).

SC Decision on SC/St Act Has Exposed Bitter Life Realities of Dalits: Mayawati

BSP President Mayawati said the Supreme Court's decision on the SC/ST Act have brought to the fore "bitter life realities" and struggles of Dalit society and also exposed the "Dalit love" of the ruling BJP and Congress.

In a tweet, Mayawati said, "The Supreme Court, while restoring the provisions of the SC/ST Act 1989 in its judgement yesterday, has verified facts regarding the bitter life realities and struggles of Dalit society, they specially expose the Dalit love of the ruling BJP and Congress. It is necessary that the country and society remain aware." In another tweet, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister spoke about Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand faring badly on the NITI Aayog's ranking in terms of school education.

"Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are ranked lowest in the country in terms of school education ranking of the NITI Aayog. Will the parties which have ruled the country and the state for the longest time, especially Congress and BJP be able to give an answer to the public on Gandhi Jayanti today as to why there is such a shameful crisis," she said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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