The Supreme Court of India on Friday asked the Centre to revert back on various pleas seeking to announce the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act) that was passed by both the Houses of Parliament, as ultra vires. A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan on Friday issued a notice to the Centre and asked for its response within six weeks.
The court was hearing various pleas which alleged that the Parliament had “arbitrarily” agreed to amend the law in such a way that innocent cannot avail the right to anticipatory bail.
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Earlier, the Parliament had passed a bill to reverse the decision made by the apex court concerning certain safeguards against the arrest of people under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Law.
The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill got the nod of Rajya Sabha and later got passed in the Lok Sabha on August 6.
The bill rules out anticipatory bail for any person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order. The bill also says that no inquiry is needed to register any case and arrests would not be subject to any approval under this law.
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The Supreme Court on March 20 had taken note of the constant misuse of the SC/ST Act against the government officers and said that there shall be no immediate arrest under the law.
The apex court had said that a public servant can only be arrested after approval by any competent authority under the SC/ST Act.