The petitioners said that no procedural technicality could stand in the way of enforcing fundamental rights.
New Delhi: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging the recent amendments to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prev-ention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which bars preliminary enquiry, anticipatory bail and prevention from arrest.
Two lawyers — Priya Sharma and another — in a fresh petition challenged the amendments brought in by the Central government and passed by Parliament earlier this month. The amended law restores the SC/ST Act in its original form, by annulling the changes made to the law by the Supreme Court through its verdict on March 20.
They prayed for a declaration that the amendments to the SC/ST Act null and void as they are nothing more than “appeasement politics” being played by the ruling party.
Parliament passed the law to overturn the March 20 Supreme Court judgment providing for safeguards against arrest under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe law, anticipatory bail and preliminary enquiry.
The amended law rules out any provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of atrocities against SC/STs, notwithstanding any court order. It provides that no preliminary inquiry will be required for registering a criminal case and an arrest under this law would not be subject to any approval.
The petitioners said that no procedural technicality could stand in the way of enforcing fundamental rights. The law to circumvent the apex court judgment is unconstitutional and cannot be permitted by the court, they said.