"I want to assure that the Modi government is 100 per cent on the side of the Scheduled Castes..." Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

Government files review petition in SC over dilution of SCST PoA ActPTI / File photo
news Law Monday, April 02, 2018 - 14:33

The Lok Sabha was informed on Monday that the Centre has filed a review petition over the Supreme Court's order for the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Amid protests and din in the Lower House, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the SC/ST Act was an important issue which the opposition wanted to discuss in the debate on the no confidence motion.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar informed the House that a review petition has been filed by the government.

"I want to assure that the Modi government is 100 per cent on the side of the Scheduled Castes..." Kumar said amid a ruckus.

"We have already filed a review petition," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, "The government has taken note of the Supreme Court's order in the SC/ST Act. I have already asked the Law Ministry to examine the desirability of filing a review petition."

On Wednesday, a delegation of Dalit Ministers and MPs led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed issues related to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

After the meeting, Paswan and other delegation members said the government was "committed" to file a review petition against the dilution of some provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Paswan said the meeting with Modi was "positive" as the delegation apprised Modi of certain issues related to the SCs and STs such as reservation in the private sector and promotions in the public sector.

On March 20, the Supreme Court ruled that the arrest of an accused under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act was not mandatory and recourse to coercive action would be only after a preliminary inquiry and sanction by the competent authority.

There was no "absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide", the apex court added.

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