Supreme Court seeks response from Centre on pleas challenging new amendments in SC/ST Act
The Supreme Court was hearing pleas which alleged that both Houses of Parliament had 'arbitrarily' decided to amend the law and restored previous provisions in such a manner so that an innocent cannot avail the right of anticipatory bail.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre on a batch of pleas seeking to declare the fresh amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act made by Parliament, as ultra vires.
A bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the Centre and sought its reply within six weeks. The court was hearing pleas which alleged that both Houses of Parliament had "arbitrarily" decided to amend the law and restored previous provisions in such a manner so that an innocent cannot avail the right of anticipatory bail.
Parliament on 9 August had passed a bill to overturn the apex court order concerning certain safeguards against arrest under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe law. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha. It had got the nod of the Lok Sabha on 6 August.
The bill rules out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order. It provides that no preliminary inquiry will be required for registering a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.
The Supreme Court had on March 20 taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law. It had passed a slew of directions and said a public servant can be arrested in cases lodged under the SC/ST Act only after prior approval by the competent authority.
Calls for a fresh push for the demand have followed the Supreme Court's 5 May decision that held that total reservations cannot breach the 50 percent ceiling.
Maharashtra govt making 'all possible effort' to give reservation to Maratha community, says Ajit Pawar
Last month, the Supreme Court had struck down the state govt's law granting quota to Marathas in college admissions and public jobs, terming it 'unconstitutional'
Student activists Asif Iqbal Tanha, and Natasha Narwal, and Devangana Kalita were released from Tihar Jail on Thursday, two days after their bail order was passed