With speculations doing rounds that the central government may bring in an ordinance to reverse dilution of arrest clause in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the top court has said that it would not allow arrest of an innocent person.
This is being seen as top court’s yet another toughening of stance in the case of what is widely perceived as dilution of arrest clause in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The Supreme Court said that it would not allow arrest of an innocent merely on a complaint even if Parliament made a law.
It said that right to life and liberty must be read into every provision that prescribes arrest of a person.
The top court went ahead and said that enforcement of law has to be fair and just and cardinality of Article 21 rights cannot be denied even by Parliament.
This was stated by a bench of Justices Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit.
Attorney general KK Venugopal, while seeking a review of the order, told the bench that plenary power given to the SC under Article 142 of the Constitution was meant to ensure due process of law, and not to overturn law.
The SC introduced prior sanction from appointing authority, in case of a public servant, and from the senior superintendent of police, in case of a commoner, for arrests under the Act.