WITH the Supreme Court on Monday upholding amendments made by the Centre to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018, that rules out anticipatory bail for those accused of atrocities against SC/STs, the Maratha as well as OBC community have decided to approach the apex court with a review petition.
“A discussion is underway in the Maratha community to approach the Supreme Court with a plea to review its ruling. We will be urging the court to grant anticipatory bail in cases where the case was filed after minor arguments or quarrels,” said Rajendra Kondare, general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Mahasangh, which had three years ago protested what it claimed was a misuse of the Atrocities Act.
“Not only the Maratha community, the OBC community will approach the SC as well,” he added.
Kondare said the Centre had brought in amendments to nullify the effects of the March 20, 2018 Supreme Court judgment which had diluted the stringent provisions of the SC/ST Act. The 2018 judgement had stated there should be no automatic arrest after a complaint is filed under the Act. The apex court had also introduced a provision for anticipatory bail.
“The Supreme Court has now upheld the amendments which were brought in by the Centre that anticipatory bail cannot be provided to those charged under the Atrocities Act. The court has, however, said anticipatory bail can be granted in exceptional circumstances where refusal of bail would imply miscarriage of justice,” he said.
“We will be seeking anticipatory bail for those charged in non-serious cases such as quarrels and so on,” Kondare added.
Kondare said the outfit would urge the court to punish those who file false cases under the Act.
Dalit community leader Manav Kamble said it is true that false cases are sometimes filed under the Act.
“This happens mainly in villages, where upper-caste people provoke Dalits… Dalit communities should not fall for such tactics…” he said.
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