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Rajnath Singh Acknowledges 'Widespread Anger', Says Govt Will Not Dilute SC/ST Act
07 Abril 2018, 11:07 | Gervasio Siguenza
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh
According to its order, no public servant accused under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act can be taken into custody until an officer, not below the rank of deputy superintendent, conducts a preliminary inquiry.
It should be observed that the apex court has only made certain amendments to prevent misuse of the provision of the SC/ST Act which are draconian in nature.
In Ongole, the Bahujana Rachayitala Vedika staged protests at Dharna Chowk, along with the Congress, Left parties, the Dalit Mahasabha, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) New Democracy and Kula Vivaksha Porata Samiti, among others.
The Supreme Court had on March 20 passed a judgement providing protection from immediate arrests in cases registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Congress is the BJP's main rival in these states.
Authorities in Punjab shut schools and colleges and postponed exams in some affected regions.
The Supreme Court's ruling has led to many violent clashes in various states.
The worst brunt of the protest was felt in Madhya Pradesh, where six people lost their lives - three were killed in Gwalior, two in Bhind and one in Morena. It also says that failure to comply with the court's directions would result in disciplinary proceedings against the police official, who will also have to face contempt of court proceedings.
Dalits from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have come out on the road to protest against the ruling.
The AG said it is an emergency situation as large-scale violence has taken place and sought urgent hearing of the review petition today itself. In Gujarat, about 300 protesters detained in Ahmedabad and 125 in Gandhinagar. Protests have been reported in West Bengal capital, Kolkata as well.
The strike also gained further traction through the support of various regional leaders like Bahujan Samaj Party's Mayawati, CPI (M)'s Sitaram Yechury and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. "He also submitted that decisions of this court in Vilas Pandurang Pawar & Anr. vs State of Maharashtra & Ors and Shakuntala Devi vs Baljinder Singh permit grant of anticipatory bail if no prima facie case is made out. There is a lot of hearsay", Justice Goel said. The court judgement said, "Innocent citizens are termed accused, which is not intended by the legislature. I wish to inform the House that the Government of India was not a party in that case", he said, making a fervent appeal for maintaining peace and harmony in the country.
Seeking an open court hearing of the review petition, it said that "oral arguments are essential in the present matter in order to assist the court".
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