The central government on Monday filed a review petition challenging Supreme Court’s order on SC/ST Atrocities Act banning automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of SCs and STs. The petition was filed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.
“The Government has filed a comprehensive review in the Supreme Court on the order that rules out automatic registration of FIR and arrest in a complaint under SC/ST Act… The government is committed to the welfare of Dalits,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The March 20 order has drawn questions from the Opposition as well as within the ruling combine, with NDA ally Ramvilas Paswan filing a review petition last week.
Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot too had last week appealed to organisations and individuals opposing the Supreme Court’s verdict on the SC/ST Act to withdraw their protests in the wake of the government’s decision to file a review petition challenging the order.
A delegation of NDA’s SC and ST MPs, led by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Gehlot, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss the apex court judgement diluting provisions of the SC/ST atrocities act.
In a related development, the Supreme Court on Monday declined an urgent hearing on a separate PIL demanding a stay and review of its recent verdict on SC/ST Act. The plea was moved by the All India Federation of SC/ST organisations, a conglomerate of nearly 150 employees groups.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said that the petition will be heard in due course of time.
Advocate Manoj Gaurkella, appearing for the employees federation said that the recent verdict passed by the apex court on March 20 was “unfair and unjust and it should be stayed”.
He also said that this writ petition should be heard by a larger bench of five judges to decide the issue.
(With inputs from PTI)