SC/ST Act review petition: Not against the Act, innocent shouldn't be punished, says Supreme Court

03 April 2018, 02:49 PM
Supreme Court - File Photo
Supreme Court - File Photo

The Supreme Court is holding an open-court hearing on the review petition filed by the Centre, challenging its order banning automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of SCs and STs.  

The apex court, while hearing the submissions by the Attorney General, observed, 'we are not against the Act. Innocent should not be punished.'

The AG said it is an emergency situation as large scale violence has taken place and sought urgent hearing of the review petition. 

The Supreme Court (SC) will hear Centre's urgent plea seeking a stay on its ruling that changed certain provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The hearing is scheduled for 2:00 pm. The Chief Justice of India has constituted a special bench to hear the petition. This bench, of Justice AK Goel and UU Lalit, is the same one that made the ruling on the SC/ST Act last month.

The Union government on Monday filed a review petition in the SC against its March 20 ruling that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the SC/ST Act.

The Centre's petition came even as the Bharat Bandh held by Dalit groups to protest the SC ruling turned violent in parts of India, resulting in the deaths of nine people.

Dalit groups, the Centre and several opposition parties believe the SC ruling dilutes the SC/ST Act. The SC last month ruled that instead of an immediate arrest in a case of alleged harassment, a preliminary inquiry must first be conducted by police within seven days of an incident before taking any action. 

First Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 11:31 AM
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