SC upholds amendments of SC/ST Act-THE HINDU -11-02-2020


The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act of 2018, which nullified its own controversial March 20, 2018 judgment diluting the stringent provisions of the Dalit protection law. The Supreme Court had itself earlier recalled the March 20 judgment on October 1, 2019 in a review petition filed by the government. It had said it was wrong on the part of the March 20 judgment to treat all SC/ST community members as “a liar or crook”. The March 20 judgment had diluted the original 1989 legislation, saying they were using its provisions to file false criminal complaints against innocent persons.

Even while reserving the case for judgment, the Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat had made it clear that it would neither upset the October 1 judgment nor dilute the provisions of the statute. The 2018 Act had nullified a March 20 judgment of the Supreme Court, which allowed anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes members. The Supreme Court verdict saw a huge backlash across the country. The government reacted by filing a review petition in the Supreme Court and subsequently amended the 1989 Act back into its original form.

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