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

16 April 2018

It said that the apex court should restore the old act that makes implementation of punishment for atrocities on SC/STs as legislated and prescribed by the Parliament.

In a written reply to the Supreme Court, the Centre said that the order had "diluted" the provisions of the law and the court may need to recall the directions it had issued.

This gave rise to a controversy on March 20, 2018 three issues came in front of Supreme Court where there were instances of exploiting of the SC/ST Act against government servants.

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"The 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", it added.

On March 20, the apex court introduced the provision of anticipatory bail in the act while directing that there would be no automatic arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

He also referred to the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and Rules, 1977 and SC and ST (PoA) Act 1989 and SC and ST (PoA) Amendment Act 2015 and gave a total picture on their implementation in true sense in defence of crores of dalits and Adivasis in the country during the period.

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On April 3, the apex court declined to stay its ruling, which activists say has diluted the law aimed at preventing atrocities on Dalits and tribes, as it asserted that it wanted to protect innocent people from being punished. 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. This Act seeks to stop people from committing such oppression and providing victims with special rights and privileges. The ordinance route would be taken in case the Supreme Court refuses to review its judgment, he also said.

Senior Advocate Amrendra Sharan, who was appointed amicus curiae in the matter, had opposed the Centre's review petition and said the verdict had even dealt with the data and report of the parliamentary committee submitted by the government.

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