New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday partially allowed the review petition filed by the Centre against a March 2018 judgment of diluting various stringent provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Setting aside a two-judge bench order, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, said that the top court should not have ventured to frame guidelines as it comes within the domain of legislatures. The apex court observed that people belonging to SC and ST communities are still being abused and discriminated and that the abuse of the SC/ST Act cannot be a ground to dilute its provisions.
“Classes of SC/ST are suffering economically and socially for centuries,” the bench said.
The court reserved its order on the review petition on September 18.
A two-judge bench had earlier this month referred the review plea to a three-judge bench for hearing the case.
The three-judge bench today had set aside its March 20, 2018, order by which it had directed that a public servant could be arrested in cases lodged under the SC/ST Act “only after prior approval by the competent authority” and that there will be no automatic arrest on a complaint filed under the SC/ST Act.
The Centre had filed the review petition asking it to rethink its verdict after a backlash from the SC/ST community against the decision, which resulted in widespread protests across the country.