SC refuses to stay ‘restored immediate arrest’ under SC/ST Act

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to put on hold an amendment to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act that restored stringent provision for the immediate arrest and no anticipatory bail for the accused.

Refusing to entertain the plea for the stay of the amended law that restored the original provision of immediate arrest and without anticipatory bail upon the filing of a complaint under the preventive law, the bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra directed the hearing of the matter on February 19.

The court on February 19, besides challenge to the amended law, will also hear Centre’s plea seeking a review of the 2018 judgement that had diluted the provision of immediate arrest and no anticipatory bail under the prevention of atrocities law.

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The petitioner lawyers Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Priya Sharma have challenged the amendment to the Act by which top court’s judgement diluting the provision was reversed.

The petitioner lawyers have contended that the government brought the amendment under pressure from alliance partners and for political mileage and its worry over antagonising huge vote-bank ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

In its plea seeking the recall of the judgment diluting stringent provisions, the Centre had told the top court that its judgement had “seriously affected their (SC/ST) morale in the ability of State to protect them.”

The top court had held on March 20 that the police will hold an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of a complaint filed under the Act before acting on it.

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The court had said that it was providing for the safeguard “in view of acknowledged abuse of law of arrest” under the Act.

[source_without_link]IANS[/source_without_link]

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