New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear the Centre’s plea on SC/ST Act after the central government informed the court that an emergency-like situation was prevailing in the country. The attorney general has sought a hearing at 2 pm.
Attorney General K K Venugopal mentioned the review petition before Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel for an open court hearing, following which the court agreed to hear the matter. “Failure to maintain law and order cannot be a ground to alter a judgment. Let CJI take a call on the constitution of the bench,” it said.
A day earlier the Supreme Court had declined an urgent hearing on a plea which sought a stay and review of its recent verdict on SC/ST Act.
All India Federation of SC/ST organisations, a conglomerate of nearly 150 employees groups, had said on Monday that large-scale nationwide violence has taken place in which several people have lost their lives and therefore the petition should be heard urgently.
At least nine people were killed in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on Monday while thousands were detained by the police and hundreds were left injured as the state and central governments struggled to control the massive protests that erupted across the north, west and east India over the Supreme Court’s alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said that the petition will be heard in due course of time.
The 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 the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The top court had said that unless the exclusion of anticipatory bail is limited to “genuine cases and inapplicable to cases where there is no prima facie case was made out, there will be no protection available to innocent citizens”
The SC/ST Atrocities Act was first passed in 1989 by the Janata Dal government led by VP Singh. Paswan as Social Justice Minister in the government piloted the original bill.
Many NDA allies have met Finance minister Arun Jaitely and BJP President Amit Shah to express his concerns on the SC order.
Opposition parties led by the Congress had also staged a protest in Parliament this session against the verdict seeking immediate intervention from the government.