Centre must seek review of Supreme Court's order on SC/ST Act, says BJP MP

Opposition parties, including the Congress, too have asked the government to appeal against the order.

New Delhi: A Dalit MP of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said on Friday a Supreme Court order diluting the punitive provisions of the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act will have an “adverse” impact on the party if the government does not file a review petition.

Udit Raj, a Lok Sabha MP from North West Delhi, said he will raise the issue during a meeting of top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, at their parliamentary party meeting this evening.

“The government must file a review plea in the apex court against the order. If it does not, it will definitely impact us (BJP) adversely. When the government takes credit for positive developments, it will also get discredited for something that goes wrong,” he told reporters.

Raj, who is a former IRS office and heads All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, said he has sought an appointment with Modi to raise this issue and also a recent University Grants Commission order that, he claimed, “harms” the interests of Dalits.

He claimed that the apex court order makes the legislation very ineffective by mandating prior official sanction to arrest a government employee booked under the Act and the nod of the SSP concerned to arrest a private person.

“The law has become so weak,” the MP said.

Several Dalit MPs of the ruling party have expressed views, mostly on the condition of anonymity, that the government should file a review petition against the order.

Dalit ministers like Ram Vilas Paswan, who is also the chief of Lok Janshakti Party an ally of the BJP, have also spoken in favour of filing a review petition.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, too have asked the government to appeal against the order.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the government will examine the order and then come out with a structured response.

Raj supported Prasad’s stand saying that a proper examination of the order was imperative before the government files an appeal.

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