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SC/ST Act issue: Gehlot asks organisations to withdraw protests

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot today appealed to organisations and individuals opposing the Supreme Court's verdict on the SC/ST Act to withdraw their protests in the wake of the government's decision to file a review petition challenging the order.
In a tweet, Gehlot said the government has decided to file a review petition before the Supreme Court next week challenging its order banning automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of SCs and STs.
Top law officers are constantly brainstorming with officials of the ministry of social justice to prepare a credible review plea, sources in the government said.
"The review will be filed by Wednesday (next) as by then, the grounds for the review will be ready," a senior functionary had said.
Gehlot had sought legal opinion of Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad favouring filing of a review plea, while noting that there were concerns that the order will make the law "ineffective" and adversely impact the dispensation of justice to Dalits and tribals.
The top court had recently banned automatic arrests and registration of criminal cases under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. The law protects the marginalised communities against discrimination and atrocities.
A delegation of NDA's SC and ST MPs, led by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Gehlot, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss the apex court judgement diluting provisions of the SC/ST atrocities act.
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) have also conveyed their views and demanded a review of the verdict, saying the original Act, as it existed before the SC verdict, should be restored.
The Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) Act, 1989 was amended recently to include new offences and to ensure speedy justice to victims. The amended law had come into effect from January 26, 2016.

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First Published: Mar 30 2018 | 3:55 PM IST

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