Dalit Lawmakers To Meet PM, Want Review Of Court Order On Atrocities Law

The Supreme Court passed an order which relaxed certain provisions in the stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, citing their misuse. Dalit lawmakers will meet PM Narendra Modi, Commission will meet President Ram Nath Kovind

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Dalit Lawmakers To Meet PM, Want Review Of Court Order On Atrocities Law

Dalit lawmakers want PM Narendra Modi's government to file review petition in Supreme Court.

New Delhi:  Dalit lawmakers of the ruling NDA plan to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today regarding a recent Supreme Court order, which, they say, weakens a crucial law to prevent atrocities against the community. The lawmakers want a review of the order and say the government should file a petition in court. A delegation of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Commission will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind with the same request.

Last week, the top court had passed an order which relaxed certain provisions in the stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The court said on certain occasions, the law was being misused to prevent public servants from doing their duty. The court introduced the provision of anticipatory bail and ruled against automatic arrest of anyone accused under the law.

Dalits groups maintain that the court order came because the government had not informed the court about the high rate of atrocities, and the abysmally low conviction rate in such cases.

They want the government to take the matter to court again.  A failure to do so will only prove the government's anti-Dalit stance, said the Congress, which supports the Dalit demand.

A group of lawmakers have already met Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and BJP chief Amit Shah. A section of them have concerns that the issue, unless addressed, can become a potential political controversy.

Following a series of attack on Dalits by cow vigilantes, a perception has been growing in the community that the government is not concerned about their welfare, the Congress has said. Citing a sense of fresh "insecurity" after the top court's order, senior party leader Anand Sharma has asked the government to clarify its stand.

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