NEW DELHI: NDA constituent Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Thursday said it will move Supreme Court against the order that dilutes the stringent provisions under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Addressing a press conference here, Union Minister and LJP President Ram Vilas Paswan also urged the government to file a review petition as the rights of oppressed classes were compromised.
"There is anguish among people from SC and ST communities over the order. There is feeling of insecurity as the court's order can be misused. Our party demands that the government should file a review plea against the dilution of provisions on the Act. Our party will also file a separate review petition," he said
LJP Parliamentary Party Board Chairman Chirag Paswan noted that the act "was the only weapon" that SCs, and STs had for their protection. "Our party leaders and workers have raised concerns over its dilution. So our party has decided to file a separate review petition in the court. It will mostly be done next week."
Ram Vilas Paswan said he was Minister of Labour and Welfare in V.P. Singh government when the anti-atrocities act was passed in 1989 to protect SCs and STs from caste slurs and discrimination.
In 1996, several amendments were made in it to strengthen it further, he added.
The party also expressed its opposition to the proposal of separate Lingayat religion saying the SCs and STs in the fold would lose benefits like reservation.
"At present, SCs and STs under Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh religions get reservation benefits. If new religion of Lingayats come, these communities would not get those benefits. So LJP is against separate Lingayat religion," said Ram Vilas Paswan.
Taking a dig at Congress, he recalled that the Manmohan Singh-led government had in 2013 rejected the proposal by the All India Veershaiva Mahasabha to grant religious minority status to Lingayat and Veerashaiva Lingayats on the grounds that they were a sect of Hindus and not an independent religion.