Home NATION Bill to reverse SC order in the Prevention of Atrocities act approved,...

Bill to reverse SC order in the Prevention of Atrocities act approved, scheduled to pass before August 10

The bill to reverse the order of the Supreme Court made in March 2018, has come in the wake of announced nation wide Dalit agitation on Aug 9. The notable amendment in the act is, "the decision to arrest or not to arrest cannot be taken away from the investigating officer," as quoted in the proposed amendment.

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Dalit Act, prevention of atrocities act amendment, cabinet approves amendment in SC St act
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The Modi cabinet has attempted to appease the Dalit leaders by passing the dalit demanded amendment to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989. As per the amendment which is proposed to be cleared before August 10, it will revive the earlier law of investigating officer possessing the power to arrest any public servant suspected to be involved in the case of atrocities against the dalit. Additionally, the act also banned anticipatory bail to the accused. However, hearing the petition against these provisions in March this year, Justice A K Goel and Justice U U Lalit of Supreme Court reversed the provision of arresting public servants on the ground of suspicion.

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The Justices opined that the investigating officer will need prior written permission from the higher authority like the Superintendent of Police before arresting the public servant. They also nullified the ban on the application of anticipatory bail to the arrested accused. “There is no absolute bar against grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the atrocities act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide,” said the justices.

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The decision from the Supreme Court saw a fiery reaction from the Dalit community across the nation. The Dalit community protested peacefully as well as violently across the nation to pressurise the apex court to take back their decision. The ‘Nationwide Bandh‘ was also observed against the apex court’s decision on the Prevention of Atrocities Act against the Dalits. The city like Mumbai saw a violent agitations from the Dalit community across the city. The normal life had come to stand still as the railway and roads were hijacked by the community extremists.

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The bill to reverse the order of the Supreme Court made in March 2018, has come in the wake of announced nation wide Dalit agitation on Aug 9. The notable amendment in the act is, “the decision to arrest or not to arrest cannot be taken away from the investigating officer,” as quoted in the proposed amendment. The bill has also proposed to bring back the earlier banning of application of anticipatory bail in the case under the act.