Despite the central government’s review petition, the Supreme Court has today refused to stay its March 20 verdict on SC/ST Act.
It need be mentioned that Supreme Court had ruled earlier that anticipatory bail should be granted by the courts unless there was a prima facie case against the accused under the Act.
Rejecting according any stay, the Supreme Court said it is not against the SC/ST Act but is surely concerned that innocents should not be punished unilaterally due to misuse of the Act.
The top Court said there should not be any politics on the issue and asked all the parties to submit detailed replies within two days and put the matter to be heard after 10 days.
It asked the government to explain why it wants people arrested without verification.
Earlier in the day, the apex court had agreed to hear the review petition after Attorney General KK Venugopal referred to large scale violence and loss of lives and property during yesterday’s Bharat Bandh.
The Central government had filed a review petition on Monday against a recent verdict of a two-judge bench which introduced safeguards to prevent misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The Central government sought an open court hearing and said that the safeguards would render the law toothless.