The Chhattisgarh government will file a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging its order modifying certain provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Chief Minister Raman Singh said today.
Singh said his government had also revoked a police department circular for implementation of the Supreme Court order across the state.
The Supreme Court guidelines, which several Dalit groups claimed allegedly diluted the stringency of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, led to a nationwide shutdown on April 2.
Violence during the protests that day saw several people killed and scores injured.
"On March 20, Supreme Court had delivered a judgement on the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The state government will file a petition in the Supreme Court against the decision," Singh told reporters.
"In this connection, the state's police headquarters had issued an order. That order stands cancelled with immediate effect," he said.
"The state government is affected by the judgement. In Chhattisgarh, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the honour of SCs and STs. The state government has always been sensitive towards them," he said.
"The state government is completely capable of protecting the interests of SCs and STs. Therefore, we took this decision immediately," he added.
Singh said his government would present its side strongly in the apex court.
On being asked about the lack of coordination between the state and the Centre, he said that his government got to know about the Centre's decision to file a review petition against the order yesterday.
"When we came to know about the stand of the Centre, we took a decision on the matter yesterday," he said.
He hit out at the opposition Congress claiming that the party was making grandiose statements on the issue but was doing nothing about it.
On April 6, the state's Additional Director General (Crime Investigation Department) RK Vij had issued a circular to all superintendents of police, asking them to strictly implement the top court's March 20 judgement.
The circular laid down that, as per the Supreme Court order, a public servant could be arrested under the SC/ST Act only after approval of the appointing authority while a private individual could be arrested following the senior superintendent of police's approval.
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