Govt not diluting the SC/ST Act: Rajnath Singh

Govt not diluting the SC/ST Act: Rajnath Singh

Govt not diluting the SC/ST Act: Rajnath Singh

Innocent should not be punished'. The bench made it clear that it would hear the Centre's plea for a review of the earlier judgement, along with those who were original parties in the main petition, including the Maharashtra government, according to PTI.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in more than 10 States, majority BJP-ruled, with widespread violence during the protests called by Dalit organisations on Monday with poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan bearing the maximum brunt. We only said protect an innocent from being falsely implicated under the Act, which has stringent provisions.

The apex court's judgement puts an end to immediate arrests in complaints filed under the SC/ST Act provisions. "They may have been misled", a Bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit said.

The Central government had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on Monday against the March 20 order that allegedly diluted certain provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The bench had clarified that its judgment won't stand in way of awarding compensation due to affected parties or registration of FIR in instances of conjoint offences. After the order, public servants can be arrested only after orders from their respective authorities.

"No, they can't work".

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Those agitating on streets may not have even read our judgment, added the Supreme Court. "There may also be some kind of vested interests involved". "If he is not innocent then arrest him", Justice Goel, heading the bench, observed.

"We have not restrained registration of FIR but an innocent can not be thrown behind bars just because a complaint has been made".

Stating that there should be no politics in the case, Justice Goel said, "We have clearly said that the outer limit for conducting the preliminary probe is seven days, it can be completed in one hour or even in 15 minutes, if there are verifiable evidence". Depending on its findings, FIR may or may not be registered after that. In order to protect them, the provision of witness protection was introduced.

"Yes, it applies to all".

The Centre has stated in its petition that the changes proposed by the Supreme Court may not only dilute the protection offered to SC/ST communities but would also question the very objective of promulgating the Act. Detractors condemned the top court's ruling as an undemocratic move against minority rights and said it would likely reduce the fear of the law, and result in more violations and atrocities against the Dalit community.

The reported "dilution" of the law was done to curb "abuse of law".

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