Amidst massive protests, the Central government will on Monday file a review petition in the Supreme Court in the apex courts recent order diluting certain provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, reports said.
According to media reports, under severe pressure from its allies and the opposition, the government has prepared the papers to file the review petition.
Last week, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had instructed his Ministry officials “to examine the desirability of filing a review petition in the case”.
On March 28, a delegation of Dalit Ministers and MPs led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed issues arising out of the Supreme Court’s order.
On the same day, leaders of several opposition parties met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought his intervention to press the government to file a review petition before the Supreme Court over its verdict diluting the SC/ST Act.
The delegation included leaders from the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party, the DMK and the Nationalist Congress Party.
On March 20, the Supreme Court ruled that the arrest of an accused under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is not mandatory and recourse to coercive action would be only after preliminary inquiry and sanction by the competent authority.
Coupled with this, the court said, that there was no “absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide”.
(With inputs from agencies)