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Supreme Court Upholds SC/ST Amendment Act, Opposition Blames Centre

In one of the awaited verdicts, the Supreme Court has upheld the amended SC/ST Act, the law having no provision for anticipatory bail. 

Delhi| On Monday, the Supreme Court gave an important verdict by withholding the constitutional validity of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018. It is to be noted that a March 2018 judgement of the court had diluted the provisions of this act.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra pronounced that it is not necessary to conduct priliminary enquiry or to have an approval from a senior official to register an FIR under this act.

The act also denies any anticipatory bail to an accused person under this SC/ST act. Courts, however, under special circumstances can squash the FIRs.

Also Read: Bharat Bandh against SC/ST Act amendment: Trains stopped in Bihar, Section 144 imposed in MP, protests in UP

Justice S Ravindra Bhat wrote down a separate order in line with Justice Arun Mishra’s order where he added a caveat that pre-arrest bail should be granted only in extraordinary situations where a denial of bail would mean miscarriage of justice.

In September 2018 verdict, the court had recalled its orders from March 2018 verdict where it had diluted the stringent provisions of the SC/ST Act while restoring automatic arrest in such cases.

The preliminary probe by the police before the arrest was also recalled by the court in September 2018 verdict.

In March 2018 judgement, the court had pronounced that there will be no automatic arrest in case of a complaint filed under the act. The court had also suggested to include the provision of anticipatory bail.

The centre had filed a review petition in Supreme Court after its March 2018 verdict.

Supreme court on Monday was responding to a bunch of PILs challenging the validity of the amended SC/ST act which was brought in after March 2018 orders.

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