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Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Thursday said that the Centre is likely to file next week a review petition against the Supreme Court’s order diluting provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Speaking to reporters here, Gehlot said the apex court’s ruling could lead to a rise in atrocities against members of oppressed classes. A delegation of Dalit ministers and MPs led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan yesterday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over dilution of some stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“The Supreme Court’s decision would affect the justice delivery system,” Gehlot, who was part of the delegation, said here, in reply to a question. It would lead to delay in police action and arrest, and as a result, atrocities against the oppressed classes would rise, the BJP leader said. “My ministry, after holding serious discussions, had requested the law ministry that there is a need to file a review petition against the Supreme Court order,” Gehlot said. “I am glad that Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has accepted the request,” he said.
“To file the review petition, Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, Law Ministry and the Attorney General’s Office are in talks, and I think in the next three to four days they are going to prepare the plea. In the next week, we will move in the direction of filing the petition,” he said.
The prime minister assured the delegation of Dalit MPs yesterday that appropriate action would be taken, and consequently the government decided to go in for a review petition, the Union minister said.
On March 20, the Supreme Court, noting the rampant misuse of the SC-ST Act against government servants, ruled that a public servant can be arrested only after approval of the appointing authority. A non-public servant can be arrested after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police, it said.