The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay its order on Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) Act. The court was hearing Central Government’s review petition on Schedule Castes and the Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
On March 20, the apex court, in a bid to check misuse of the SC/ST Act, ruled that preliminary enquiry in a case under the Atrocities Act would be done by the DSP to ensure the allegations are not frivolous, and to avoid the false implication of an innocent.
The court also held that a government official cannot be prosecuted on a mere allegation of committing an offence under the Act without the sanction of the appointing authority. A nationwide bandh was called by Dalit outfits on Monday against the apex court’s ruling that allegedly diluted the act.
On Tuesday, the Union Govt made 3 Submissions to Court as:
“It is pointed out that as per Rule 12(4) and (4A) read with Annexure-I of the 2016 Amendment to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, immediate compensation or other assistance has to be given to victim belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. If
there is delay in preliminary inquiry, payment of such compensation or other immediate relief may be delayed. The second submission is that there may be offences under the provision of the Indian Penal Code or any other law and direction to hold preliminary inquiry may delay registration of case in respect of such other offences also. The third submission is that the directions are in conflict with the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”
To which Supreme Court had said:
“Court makes it clear that there is no bar to compensation or other immediate relief being given to the victim member of the SC/ST as per the provisions noted above without any delay whatsoever. There is also no bar to registration of F.I.R. under any provision of the penal code or any other law and the offences under the SC/ST Act being added later, if necessary. Thus, there is no dilution of any provision of the SC/ST Act relating to compensation, trial, punishment or otherwise. The order only safeguards abuse of power of arrest or of false implication of an innocent without in any manner affecting the rights of the members of the SC/ST, as rightly submitted by learned amicus.”
The apex court also asked all parties to submit detailed replies within two days. The matter will be heard after 10 days.
Read Full Order here: