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SC/ST Atrocities Act: Govt set to file review petition against SC ruling today

By Deepika

The Central government is set to file a review petition on Monday against the Supreme Court's order on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Ravi Shankar Prasad

The apex court had laid down new guidelines that protect public servants from immediate arrest after a complaint is filed against them under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.

Top law officers are constantly brainstorming with officials of the ministry of Social Justice to prepare a credible review plea, highly-placed sources in the government said.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday that the government has taken note of the Supreme Court judgement about laying down new norms about the SC/ST Act.

"I have already instructed my ministry to consider the desirability of filing a review. Appropriate follow up actions are being taken," he said.

The government had come under attack from Opposition demanding a review or bring an amendment to undo the Supreme Court's ruling.

On March 23, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, along with other party MPs had gathered outside the Gandhi Statue in Parliament to protest against the Centre for not filing a review petition against the top court ruling.

In its order a division bench of the Apex Court had banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the said Act. The ruling emphasised on holding a preliminary inquiry before taking any criminal action in this regard. The judgement had underlined the misuse of certain provisions of the Act for "vested interests".

A delegation of NDA's SC and ST MPs, led by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Gehlot, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the apex court judgement diluting provisions of the atrocities act.

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