SC to examine amendment in the SC/ST Act; seeks reply from the Center in six weeks
New Delhi, Sep 8: The Supreme Court of India (SC) and the central governemnt seem to be face-to-face once again as they had been in the case of Shah Bano case during the Rajiv Gandhi government but this time on SC/ST Act. The SC has decided to examine changes made by the government in the act through constitution amendment.
The SC has decided to examine Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act that was amended in Parliament of August 9. The court has issued notice to the Centre seeking its reply in six weeks in response to the petition challenging the amendment in law. However, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan refused to stay the demand of petitioners to stop its implementation.
As per the amendment made in the constitution, the old law prevails. But petitioners demanded implementation of March 20 orders in which the court ordered no arrest to be made on simple complain, anticipatory bail to be allowed and prior permission required before any arrest of officers were to be made.
Actually the review petition of the Centre is also pending with the SC but in the meantime the government amended the law under which arrest will be made on the complain from any SC community member. No anticipatory bail, no medical examination before FIR. The Dalit community took to the road protesting changes in the law now upper case is doing the same. But Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati said that all this is conspiracy of the BJP and the RSS in view of the Lok Sabha elections. Opposition of SC/ST Act in the BJP-ruled states clearly indicates that party is indulged in caste politics and supporting such movements.
On the other hand Union minister in the Modi government Ramdas Athawale said that instead of demanding change in SC/ST laws, there is a need to change of mindset in the upper caste.