Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Thursday demanded that the Centre should bring an Ordinance to counter the Supreme Court’s judgement on dilution of the SC/ST Act. Addressing reporters here, Mr. Paswan and his son Chirag said that although the Centre had filed a review petition before the Supreme Court on this matter, the apex court will go on vacation from May 18 and will resume on July 2. This, they said, will delay the hearing on the matter.
A vacation Bench functions during this period.
The apex court had on March 20 said that on “several occasions”, innocent citizens were being termed as accused and public servants deterred from performing their duties, which was never the intention of the legislature while enacting the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The judgement led to widespread violence in several States.
The Centre had moved the apex court on April 2 seeking review of its judgement by which safeguards were put on the provisions for immediate arrest under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The government, in its review petition, told the apex court that its judgement would violate Article 21 of the Constitution for the SC/ST communities and sought restoration of the provisions of the Act.
Mr. Chirag Paswan said the apex court verdict on the legislation had made the ST/SC law “toothless” and it required urgent redressal. “There has been no solution in sight even after three hearings in this matter. The Supreme Courts vacation will commence soon and and the hearing will only take place after that. We have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring in an Ordinance to address this issue,” he said. The LJP has also written to the Prime Minister in this regard.