Facing criticism from Opposition over government’s delay in in filing review petition against against the recent Supreme Court verdict on the SC/AT Act, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that it was his government that in 2015 strengthened the law on atrocities against Dalits. “Out government has always made effort to maintain balance in society by law. It was our government in 2015 that strengthened the law on atrocities against Dalits,” said Modi while inaugurating the BR Ambedkar memorial in the national capital.
The prime minister added that in the list of atrocities against Dalits, the number of crimes has been increased from 22 to 47. “When our government made amendment in the Dalit law, the provision against anticipatory bail to the accused was kept intact. The amount of compensation to the victim was also raised. To assure that the law is followed, our government spent more than the previous government,” said Modi
Reacting to the criticism over the delay in filing the review petition, Modi said, that the Centre took only 12 days to file the review petition after the SC verdict on March 20. “When the honourable Supreme Court delivered its verdict on March 20, it took us only 12 days to file the review petition. I want to assure the nation that we will not allow dilution of the SC/SC Act.” said Modi.
Modi’s remarks came a day after Centre told the Supreme Court that its March 20 judgment, which forbids arrest without prior permission for an offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, amounted to “judicial legislation” and had caused anger, unease and sense of disharmony in the country.
Hitting out at Congress for ignoring BR Ambedkar, Modi said “I challenge the Congress to tell about a single work done by them for Baba Saheb, any single work done by them as a mark of respect to him.”
Modi said the previous government did not do much for the man who wrote our constitution. “Many governments came to power after independence but what should have been done much before has happened now, after decades. This memorial is a tribute to Baba Saheb Ambedkar,” said Modi.
He also accused the previous UPA government of closing the files related to the Ambedkar memorial, which was supposed to begin during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure. “The project was supposed to begin during Atal’s regime but Congress stalled it. In 2014, after forming our government, we had to reopen the project and worked on it on priority. On 26th march 2016 I had said that I will inaugurate the memorial,” the prime minister said.