NEW DELHI: The CPI today asked the government to seek an immediate review of the recent Supreme Court judgement diluting the stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the SC/ST Act.
It also asked the government to urge the top court to refer the matter to a larger Constitution bench "so that the rights given under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, passed by Parliament, can be restored in the true spirit".
In a ruling two days ago, the Supreme Court diluted the provisions of the Act mandating immediate arrest for violations, saying 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 law.
CPI National Secretary D Raja said the apex court ruling has "come as a big blow to all the efforts made to empower the SCs and STs. The Constitution provides certain rights to them which are protected by certain laws."
"This judgement makes the SC/ST Act redundant, makes the law enforcing authorities unable to do anything. They also can't be questioned for dereliction of duty," he said in a statement.
The CPI leader said the verdict comes at a time when there are "growing atrocities" against dalits, adivasis and minorities.
"Such horrible things are happening and the Supreme Court ruling closes its eyes to them. How many special courts have been set up under the SC/ST Act," Raja said, alleging that the top court verdict "undermines and snatches away every right given to them".