The Supreme Court today sought the Centre's response on a PIL which sought a CBI probe into incidents of violence during the April 2 'Bharat bandh', which was called in protest against dilution of the SC/ST Act by some groups and organisations.
A bench of justices A K Goel and U U Lalit issued notice to the Centre on a plea filed by social activist Bejon Kumar Misra who alleged that the "public outrage over the alleged dilution of the SC/ST act" was fanned by political parties and politicians cutting across the party lines.
"The public outrage over the alleged dilution of the SC/ST act being fanned by the political parties and politicians cutting across the parties lines out of their sole anxiety to hold their vote banks has resulted a huge loss to the human life and the public properties whose cost are yet to be ascertained," the plea filed by advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi and Shashi Bhushan claimed.
It also alleged that politicians were creating unhealthy atmosphere by playing politics and mobilising innocent and gullible people to cause damage to the democratic institutions in the name of allegedly protecting the rights of the SC/ST categories.
The plea sought directions to the political parties and politicians to account for the losses and damages caused to the public property following the agitation.
It also sought issuing of guidelines to politicians when it comes to the criticism of judiciary or loaded topics of public importance.
"Direct the CBI enquiry in the incidence following the 'Bharat bandh' in the protest of purported dilution of the SC/ST Act," the plea said.
The bandh saw widespread violence across the country in which 11 lives were lost and there was destruction to properties.
The apex court had on March 20 virtually diluted the stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act mandating immediate arrest under the law.
The top court had 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 SC/ST Act.
The Centre had later moved the apex court seeking review of the verdict saying it has "diluted" the provisions of the law, resulting in "great damage" to the country.
The Centre has said the top court verdict, which had dealt with an issue of a "very sensitive nature", has caused "commotion", "anger, unease and a sense of disharmony" in the country.
The apex court is already seized of a plea filed by All India Federation of SC/ST organisations, a conglomerate of nearly 150 employees groups, seeking review of the judgment.
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