New Delhi: The Union government on Monday moved the apex court seeking review of the recent verdict that arrest is not mandatory under the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act and the accused is entitled for anticipatory bail.
It said 89.3 per cent cases were pending disposal in the courts at the end of 2016. In the given situation of continuing offences against members of SC/STs it would be more significant and meaningful to affirm the object of the Act and not to make it easier for the accused to get away from arrest by holding a preliminary enquiry.
The Centre said the court ought to have appreciated the fact that since the offences of atrocities affect the dignity and life of the SC/STs, FIR has to be registered at the earliest and any room to the accused to get anticipatory bail would weaken the process of probe. Preliminary enquiry would even be a deterrent in even filing of FIR.
On the apex court’s finding that the Act was being misused, the Centre said contrary to this assertion of misuse, the facts and the data have demonstrated weak implementation of the SC/ST Act thereby endorsing the requirement for a strict interpretation of the provisions. Any dilution of the law would result in deprivation of the rights of SC/STs, it added.
The Centre pointed out that diluting the provisions of arrest would defeat the laudable object of the Act....