Centre Likely To File Review Petition In SC-ST Act Order Tomorrow

Sources said the government was ready with the papers to file a review petition in the case.

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Centre Likely To File Review Petition In SC-ST Act Order Tomorrow

Ravi Shankar Prasad had told officials "to examine desirability of filing a review petition in the case"


New Delhi:  The Central government is likely to file a review petition in the Supreme Court on Monday in the top court's recent order diluting certain provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, sources said on Sunday.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had on Thursday said that he had instructed his Ministry officials "to examine the desirability of filing a review petition in the case".

Sources said the government was ready with the papers to file a review petition in the case. This came after pressure from both the NDA allies and the opposition.

On March 28, a delegation of Dalit Ministers and MPs led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed issues arising out of the Supreme Court's order.

On the same day, leaders of several opposition parties met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought his intervention to press the government to file a review petition before the Supreme Court over its verdict diluting the SC/ST Act.

The delegation included leaders from the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party, the DMK and the Nationalist Congress Party.

Talking to reporters later, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that atrocities against Dalits were increasing but the Act was being weakened.

BSP leader Satish Chandra Misra said they told the President that the government had not fought the case effectively and hence a review petition should be filed and the hearing should take place in open court.

On March 20, the Supreme Court ruled that the arrest of an accused under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is not mandatory and recourse to coercive action would be only after preliminary inquiry and sanction by the competent authority.

Coupled with this, the court said, that there was no "absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide".


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