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Monday, July 23, 2018

BJP ally LJP files plea against weakening SC/ST Act

Chirag Paswan said he had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked the government to file a review petition against the order. “We have sought time to meet him and discuss the issue,” he said.

Written by Lalmani Verma , Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Updated: March 27, 2018 4:57:56 am
Dalit, Dalit protection, SC, ST prevention of atrocities act, Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan, LJP in Bihar, SC/ST Act, Supreme Court, indian express LJP leader Chirag Paswan. (File Photo)

THE LOK Janshakti Party (LJP), an ally of the BJP-led government at the Centre, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on Monday against its decision to dilute stringent provisions under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

“We have filed a review petition. We are against the changes ordered in the Act. The reason we have cited is that the Act has become toothless after the order, and SCs and STs cannot expect justice. Influential people can misuse the Act if they do not have to fear arrest. Our appeal is that the Act should be brought back in its original form,” said Chirag Paswan, chairman of the LJP’s central parliamentary board.

Noting that the Act was being abused, the Supreme Court, last week, laid down safeguards, including provisions for anticipatory bail, “preliminary enquiry” before registering a case, and prior sanction before arrest.

Read | SC/ ST Act being abused, prior sanction must for arrest, says Supreme Court

Upset over the SC’s decision, the BJP’s Dalit MPs had asked the government to file a review plea in court.

“We have said the issuance of the guidelines is bad in law and contrary to the provisions of the Constitution because this Act was enacted in conformity of Article 77 of the Constitution. We have also stated that the order is per incuriam and the bench has failed to pay notice to relevant precedents. Hence, we have sought review of the order and… liberty to re-argue the case and place the entire material and data before the court. Alternatively, it must be sent to a larger bench,” said Advocate A K Vajpayee, counsel for the petitioner.

Chirag Paswan said he had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked the government to file a review petition against the order. “We have sought time to meet him and discuss the issue,” he said.

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