LS passes SC/ST amendment Bill

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

Mains level: Misuse of various laws made for the protection of vulnerable sections of society


News

Context

  1. The Lok Sabha passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, to bypass the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down procedures for arrests under the Act.
  2. The Bill will now go to the Upper House.

Bypassing Supreme Court

  1. The Supreme Court had in March introduced protective provisions in the SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989, to permit anticipatory bail —despite a section of the Act denying it — and laying down a preliminary enquiry by police before any action is taken.
  2. It had also laid down that the permission of the appointing authority would be required to arrest a public servant and that of an SSP for the arrest of a person who is not a public servant.

Provisions of the bill

  1. The Bill inserts section 18A (1) (a) in the 1989 Act, that says a preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person.
  2. The Bill also inserts Section 18A (1) (b), which says the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any person against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been made
  3. The Bill’s Statement of Objects and Reasons says that under the CrPC, the decision to arrest a person is taken by the investigating officer and there was no requirement for approval.

No anticipatory Bail

  1. The Bill also goes back to the original SC/ST (PoA) Bill, doing away with the provision of anticipatory bail the Supreme Court ruling had permitted.
  2. The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court, says section 18A (2) of the Bill.
  3. Section 438 of the CrPC deals with direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest.
Minority Issues – Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.
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