SC cannot make law, says Centre: Read A-G KK Venugopal's submission against court's judgment diluting SC/ST Act

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that its recent judgement on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has "diluted" the provisions of the law, resulting in "great damage" to the country.

It said the top court's verdict, which had dealt with an issue of a "very sensitive nature", has caused "commotion", "anger, unease and a sense of disharmony" in the country.

In his written submission, Attorney-General KK Venugopal said that through its judgment, the top court has not filled the gaps in the Act but rather amended it through judicial legislation.

 SC cannot make law, says Centre: Read A-G KK Venugopals submission against courts judgment diluting SC/ST Act

Representational image. Reuters

The submission specifically pointed to two directions given by the court in its judgment, and insists that they amount to an amendment to the Act, something which is beyond the court's powers. The first mandates the seeking of the approval of the appointing authority before an arrest of a public servant can be made, and the approval of the SSP before the arrest of a non-public servant. The second directs that a preliminary inquiry be conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to find out whether a case is made out under the Act, and that the allegations are not frivolous.

"Bland statement that 'power to declare law carries with it, within the limits of duty, to make law when none exists' is wholly fallacious because we live under a written Constitution of which separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary is the very basic structure and is inviolable," the written submission said.

It stated that the ruling goes against the court's own judgment in Lalita Kumari versus Government of UP. It further questioned the reliance placed on English judgments as the concept of separation of powers as seen in India is different.

The Attorney-General finally submitted "that this judgement has diluted, for the reasons stated, the provisions of the Act read with the Code, resulting in great damage to the country." He further added that the "confusion" created by the apex court verdict may have to be corrected by reviewing the judgement and recalling the directions issued by the apex court.

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Updated Date: Apr 12, 2018 15:11:22 IST