SEVERAL DALIT organisations have demanded that the Centre bring an ordinance to restore status quo of the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act even as a review petition filed by the Centre in the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
Dalit leaders such as Prakash Ambedkar, Srinivas Rao and Ashok Bharti have demanded that the Centre include the Act in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution since a law placed under the Schedule is not open to judicial scrutiny. They have also called for observing April 14 as “Protect Constitution Day” across India.
In a separate press conference in Delhi, Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani too made a demand for such an ordinance. “We appeal to all our Dalit and Adivasi MPs to press upon the Centre for an ordinance. Modi and all other MPs should not bother making a show of venerating the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar on April 14 unless they are able to prove that they genuinely mean action,” he said.
“Also, we want an impeachment motion against the two judges who gave the order diluting the Atrocity Act. How can they interfere with a law made by Parliament, this is not their jurisdiction,” said Mewani.
Advocate Ashok Arora, former Secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association, added that the demand for impeachment is in keeping with the Constitution which provides for such an action on the ground of proven misbehaviour or incapacity.