The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the Centre’s plea — seeking a review of the apex court’s verdict on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act) — on May 3. A bench comprising Justices A K Goel and Deepak Gupta scheduled the hearing for next week after Attorney General K K Venugopal said he had already filed the written submission and urged for an early hearing on the same.
“The last line of your last order says that list the matter after written submission is filed. I have filed my written submission. Four states have also filed review petitions. Please give us a date,” AG Venugopal told the bench.
Early this month, the Centre had moved the court against its verdict that laid down stringent “safeguards” before registering a case under the Act. The top court had ruled that the arrest of an accused under the SC/ST Act is not mandatory and a recourse to coercive action would be taken only after preliminary inquiry and sanction by competent authority.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the government would argue the matter with full authority in the top court and appeal for reconsideration. “On behalf of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, every comprehensive review has been filed and the government, with due respect, does not agree with the reasoning given by the top court,” he had said.