SC reserves verdict on changes to SC/ST law

Prelims level : Constitutional Provisions of SC/ST Mains level : Salient features of SC/ ST attrocties prevention act, 1989. Also write a note on recommended changes.
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  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved for judgment a batch of petitions challenging the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018 which nullified a controversial March 20 Supreme Court judgment diluting the stringent provisions of the Dalit protection law.


 The 2018 Act nullified the March 20 judgment which allowed anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities against the SCs and the STs.

  • The apex court verdict saw a huge backlash across the country. Several died in ensuing protests and crores worth of property was destroyed.
  • The government reacted by filing a review petition and subsequently amended the 1989 Act back to its original form.
  • Several petitions were filed last year challenging the amendments. The lead petitioner, advocate Prithvi Raj Chauhan, even called the amendments a “blunder” and a violation of the fundamental right to equality and personal liberty. The Supreme Court however had refused to stay the implementation of the amendments.
  • The government had responded that there had been no decrease in the atrocities committed on the SCs/STs despite the laws meant to protect their civil rights.
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