SC/ST Act: Supreme Court refuses to stay amendments passed by Parliament


JANUARY 24, 2019

The court said it would hear pleas against its previous judgement and the pleas against the amendments together.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the amendments made by Parliament to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act last year, Live Law reported. The amendments, passed in August, had ruled out anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against the communities.

The court said it would hear the Centre’s review petition against its judgement of March 20, 2018, and the pleas against the amendments together. The judgement of March 20, 2018, had diluted the law’s provisions, and had said public servants cannot be arrested immediately after a complaint is filed against them under the law.

At least 11 people died and hundreds were detained during the protests against the Supreme Court order in April 2018. The Parliament passed an amendment bill in August to reverse the court’s order. The amendments said no preliminary inquiry will be needed to register a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.

In September, the Supreme Court agreed to examine petitions challenging the amendment but had declined to stay the legislation without hearing the government’s view.

The petitions claim that the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had arbitrarily decided to amend the law and restored the earlier provisions in a manner wherein an innocent person cannot avail the right to anticipatory bail. One of the petitions claimed that the structure of the act violates “basic principles of liberty and accountability” after the amendments.

Source: Scroll.in



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