Supreme Court agrees to hear centre’s challenge to SC/ST Act in open court at 2 pm today

The centre moved Supreme Court on 2 April seeking that the SC/ST Act matter be addressed by the court in an open hearing

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed an open court hearing for the centre’s review plea challenging a ruling that prevents automatic arrests on complaints filed under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act).

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal cited the law and order situation in various parts of the country and sought an urgent hearing before Chief Justice Dipak Misra. The matter will be heard at 2pm on Tuesday by a bench comprising justices A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit, the same judges whose ruling is being challenged.

The centre moved the apex court on 2 April seeking that the matter be addressed by the court in an open hearing, saying, “The judgement dated 20 March has widespread ramifications and implications resulting in dilution of the stringent provisions of law enacted under the 1989 enactment.”

The ruling has triggered protests by Dalit groups across the country, with Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh coming under a Bharat bandh on Monday.

The centre, in its plea, said the order “adversely affects a substantial portion of the population of India being SC/ST members”. It was also “contrary to the legislative policy of the Parliament” as reflected in the Act, it said.

It is also the centre’s stand that any dilution of the provisions of the amended SC/ST Act would result in depriving the community of their constitutional rights.

Source - Live mint

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