All options including ordinance route being explored to restore SC/ST Act: Paswan

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The Union Government is committed to protecting the rights of Dalits and all steps would be taken to restore the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to its original form, Union Minister, Ramvilas Paswan said.

Ramvilas Paswan

He said all options including an ordinance route too are being explored. The ordinance route would be taken in case the Supreme Court refuses to review its judgment, he also said.

"The government is committed to protecting the rights of Dalits. And whatever needs to be done, to restore the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to its original form, will be done, including bringing an ordinance," he also said.

A meeting of the group of ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh was held on Wednesday to discuss the fallout of the agitations by various Dalit organisations on the Supreme Court ruling which effectively diluted the Act.

The Supreme Court had had directed that a preliminary inquiry must be conducted by the police within seven days of an alleged incident before taking any action. On April 2, the government filed a review petition against the Supreme Court ruling.

Paswan said that the question of a ordinance would only come up in case the SC does not review its order. The Centre had filed a detailed reply in the court on Thursday against the order.

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