CHANDIGARH: The National Scheduled Castes Alliance, a socio-political organisation, today announced that it would file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against its recent order "weakening" the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The alliance welcomed the collective decision taken by Punjab legislators against the apex court's verdict and called for a more proactive and united approach.
Noting that the act was being abused, the Supreme Court had last week laid down safeguards, including provisions for anticipatory bail, "preliminary enquiry" before registering a case, and prior sanction before arrest.
Paramjit Singh Kainth, the president of the alliance, said, "Though we welcome the decision of the Punjab Assembly the government can't make such decisions just to appease the sentiments of the Scheduled Caste community."
He claimed that the Punjab government had so far been unable to implement the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 and the delay showed its apathetic attitude towards the community.
"The alliance will file an SLP in the Supreme Court so that it can be a party in the issue and also so that it can appeal to the court representing the voice and opinions of the SC community in general," he said.
Kainth said there was a need for leaders from various political parties to be educated on the policies and issues affecting the scheduled caste population.
SCs forms a comprehensive part of Punjab's population, with almost 35 per cent of the people belonging to this community.
It is being discriminated against and in recent times been the target of assault, rape and murder, he said.
Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot needs to be informed by officials about the present state of the SC/ST Act in Punjab, he said.