Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot said on Friday that the government had decided to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its verdict banning the arrest of public servants under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act without a preliminary inquiry. Pronouncing the order on March 20, the Supreme Court said the move was aimed at curbing alleged misuse of the Act.
“The Government of India is committed to the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” Gehlot tweeted. “In relation to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Atrocities Act, the Centre has decided to file a review petition.”
He also urged organisations demanding action from the Centre to withdraw their agitation in view of the government’s decision.
Three ministers from the Narendra Modi government had last week asked the Centre to approach the Supreme Court for a review of the judgement. The ministers’ demand came after the BJP’s Dalit legislators stressed the need for a review.
Union Law Ministry officials had on Thursday said the government will approach the Supreme Court next week after preparing a “water tight case” in consultation with the social justice ministry, The Hindu reported.
The Congress had earlier expressed “serious concern” over the judgment, and accused the Centre and the Maharashtra government – parties to the case – of not presenting it properly before the top court. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the government should either review the order or amend the Act.