Won't allow dilution of SC/ST Act: PM Modi

SC/ST judgment of SC is wrong: ex-CJI Balakrishnan

Reminding the Supreme Court about "separation of powers" enshrined in the Constitution, the central government on Thursday said the court has been misled into thinking that it has the power to legislate, adding that its recent order on the SC/ST Act has "diluted" the provisions of the law, resulting in "great damage" to the country.

In a written reply to the Supreme Court, the Centre said that the order had "diluted" the provisions of the law and the court may need to recall the directions it had issued. It triggered a row and the Centre has since filed a review in the SC while Congress and other opposition parties accused the Centre of being slack in court. The protests had been organised against the order that banned automatic arrests under the Act, and held that a court can grant anticipatory bail in case of false complaints.

The Centre said to SC that it has resorted to judicial legislation and the judgement goes against the criminal procedure code, reports said.

The top court had also asserted that "no provisions of SC/ST Act have been diluted" while clarifying that additional safeguards had been put in place "to protect the fundamental rights" of innocents. The statement highlights what Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench of Justices Goel and Lalit on April 3 during the hearing of the government's review petition.

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Official sources said an ordinance can be brought if the top court rejects the government's review petition.

Jena said the Supreme Court judgement on March 18, 2018 has sealed the rights guaranteed by the Constitution on the future protection of dalit and Adivasi people from the oppression.

The AG had said it was Parliament that makes the law and it believes that the SC/ST community needed to be protected from the atrocities. "I want to assure the country that the law, which was made stringent by us, will not be allowed to be affected (by the SC order)".

He said the Centre's review petition can not be an appeal against the March 20 verdict unless there is a patent error and that no provision of the Act has been diluted.

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