Supreme Court Sets Aside Its 2018 Verdict On SC/ST Act

A bench of justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai said the struggle of SC/ST people for equality is still not over in the country. The bench said SC/ST people still face untouchability, abuse and are being socially outcast.

Supreme Court Sets Aside Its 2018 Verdict On SC/ST Act
The Supreme Court on Tuesday recalled its direction in the March 20, 2018 verdict which had virtually diluted provisions of arrest under the SC/ST Act.
By: PTI
Updated: 01 Oct 2019 12:56 PM
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday recalled its direction in the March 20, 2018 verdict which had virtually diluted provisions of arrest under the SC/ST Act.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai said the struggle of SC/ST people for equality is still not over in the country. The bench said SC/ST people still face untouchability, abuse and are being socially outcast.


The apex court further said the Constitution provides for protection of SC/ST people under Article 15 but they still face social abuse and discrimination. Dealing with the misuse of provisions of SC/ST Act and lodging of false cases, the bench said it is not due to the caste system but due to human failure.

The apex court had in January this year refused to stay the 2018 amendments to the SC/ST Act, which restored the provision that no anticipatory bail be granted to the accused in offence lodged under this law

Parliament on August 9 last year had passed the bill to overturn the apex court judgement concerning certain safeguards against arrest under the SC/ST law. In its 2018 verdict, the apex court had taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and private individuals and said that there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

Violent protests had taken place across the country after the apex court's verdict in which several persons lost their lives and many were injured. The pleas filed in the top court have sought to declare the 2018 amendments to the Act as ultra vires. The pleas have claimed that Parliament had "arbitrarily" decided to amend the law and restored the previous provisions in such a manner so that an innocent cannot avail the right of anticipatory bail.

The 2018 amendments rule out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order. They provide that no preliminary inquiry would be required for registering a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.

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