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Published On: Mon, Apr 2nd, 2018

SC judgment on the SC/ST Act: Bharat Bandh: 9 dead, thousands arrested

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bharat-bandhNEW DELHI :  Nine people were killed on Monday in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as dalit outfits turned violent in sever al parts of the country due to outrage over a Supreme Court ruling on atrocities against dalits. The states which have been hit by the protests are Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha.
Various Dalit organizations and Left parties called a nation-wide strike (Bharat Bandh) today against the Supreme Court ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 even as the Government of India will be filing a review petition against the SC ruling today.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in the wake of Bharat bandh protests,” a spokesperson of Home Ministry said.In an official statement, DIG, Law & Order, Uttar Pradesh said, “There’ll be an inquiry on people spreading rumors on Social Media. Detained 448 people for legal action.”
The government on Monday filed a review petition on the Supreme Court judgment on the SC/ST Act. However, The Supreme Court on Monday declined an urgent hearing on a plea which sought a stay and review of its recent verdict on SC/ST Act by which certain safeguards were put in place on automatic arrest of individuals. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that the petition will be heard in due course of time.
In its review petition filed before the Supreme Court, the Centre said the court had no business to dilute the Act by laying down such guidelines and making it easier for accused persons to escape arrest. “In the given situation of continuing offences of atrocities against members of SCs/STs, it would be more significant and meaningful to affirm the reliance and trust of SCs/STs on the statute and not make it easier for the accused to get away from arrest by imposing a preliminary enquiry,” the Centre said.
In response to the ongoing nationwide protest called by several Dalit organisations, BSP Chief Mayawati said, “Anti-social elements were sent to cause violence during the protests resulting in death of some people and damage to public property”
“One can understand if people protest, but why is Opposition (Congress) playing politics? Parties like Congress who did not give Bharat Ratna to BR Ambedkar, and are now acting like his followers,” said union minister  Ramvilas Paswan.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to all political parties and groups to maintain peace and shun violence. Informing that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court for reconsidering the verdict on the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Protection Act..

On March 20, the apex court, in a bid to check misuse of the SC/ST Act, ruled that a government official cannot be prosecuted on a mere allegation of committing an offense under the Act without the sanction of the appointing authority. It also ruled that a preliminary inquiry in a case under the Atrocities Act would be done by the Deputy Superintendent of Police to ensure the allegations are not frivolous, and to avoid the false implication of an innocent.

MHA closely monitoring the situation: “MHA is closely monitoring the situation and is in constant touch with states. Whichever state has asked for Central Forces, they have been made available immediately,” a spokesperson of Home Ministry said.

Modi government seeks urgent hearing in Supreme Court Speaking about the ‘Bharat Bandh’ protest raging across the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told news agency ANI: “We have filed the review petition in Supreme Court. I appeal to all political parties and groups to maintain peace and not incite violence.”

Union Law Minister  Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government on Monday “filed a review petition on the judgment by the Supreme Court on the SC/ST Act.” Prasad said that the government has “filed a comprehensive review petition, which will be presented before the court by the senior lawyers of the government”.SC/ST protesters stop trains in Rajasthan, Bihar, and Punjab: With the ‘Bharat bandh’ protest raging across the country, protesters on Mo

nday stopped a train at Bihar’s Forbesganj Junction. Further, different groups, including Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation (CPIML) activists, protested in Bihar’s Arrah and blocked a train, news agencies reported. Bharat Bandh protesters also stopped a train in Jaipur, agencies reporte.Protesters also stopped a train in Punjab’

s Patiala. Congress President Rahul Gandhi questioned the Supreme Court’s decision to water down the Act at a time when atrocities against Dalits ”are increasing”. “On the one hand, atrocities are increasing against the Dalits and tribals, and on the other the Act is being diluted. The Congress President has supported and said he will take action,” he said.
The Supreme Court Bench, comprising judges Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit further noted that to avoid false implication of an innocent, preliminary enquiry will be done by the DSP to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the Atrocities Act and that the allegations are not frivolous. (With Agency Inputs ).



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