Supreme Court order on promotion in jobs triggers hope for 'favourable' verdict on SC/ST Act

The official said that after the Supreme Court's verdict on Tuesday on the matter of reservation in promotion of SC/ST employees, they were hopeful of a "favourable" verdict on the atrocities act too.

Published: 07th June 2018 08:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2018 08:29 PM   |  A+A-

The Supreme Court of India (ANI Twitter Photo)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The government is hopeful that the Supreme Court will give a "favourable" verdict on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as it has done on reservation in promotion in jobs, an official said today.

According to the official of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the government will now wait for the outcome of its review petition against the Supreme Court's March 20 order before taking any legislative measure to insulate the Act from further judicial scrutiny.

The government had earlier planned to bring an ordinance to overturn the Supreme Court's March 20 verdict putting safeguards on arrests under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and subsequently introduce a bill to incorporate the legislation in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, laws under which cannot be challenged in courts.

The official said that after the Supreme Court's verdict on Tuesday on the matter of reservation in promotion of SC/ST employees, they were hopeful of a "favourable" verdict on the atrocities act too.

In a major relief to the Centre, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed it to go ahead with reservation in promotion for employees belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories in "accordance with law".

The government had earlier planned to introduce a bill in the monsoon session of Parliament to incorporate the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, laws under which cannot be challenged in courts.

Through the ordinance on the atrocities act, the government planned to reintroduce provisions of the act which it felt were diluted by the Supreme Court verdict.

The "dilution" triggered massive protests by various Dalit and political outfits, during which nearly a dozen people were killed.

"While the bill is a permanent arrangement to ensure that the SC/ST Act's provisions are not diluted again, the ordinance is an interim arrangement to overturn the ruling," a senior government functionary had explained earlier.

Dalit groups had organised protests across the country on April 2 against the "dilution" of the act through the Supreme Court's March 20 verdict.

In its March 20 order, the apex court had laid down new guidelines for police officers on how to ensure that innocent people, especially public officials, are protected from false complaints under the act.

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