New Delhi: In a setback to the Centre, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to put on hold its March 20 verdict related to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, asserting that its verdict aims to protect innocents and not dilute the law for checking crimes against Dalits.
Stating that there should be no politics in the case, Justice Goel said, “We have clearly said that the outer limit for conducting the preliminary probe is seven days, it can be completed in one hour or even in 15 minutes, if there are verifiable evidence.”
Disagreeing with suggestions that the March 20 decision was anti-Dalit, Justice Lalit said, “We are not saying discharge the accused or not punish them. We are not diluting the Act in any way. We are only safeguarding innocent persons from arrest. As there is no other pre-arrest protection mechanism, we have said no arrest will be done till a preliminary inquiry is conducted.”
The bench directed the parties to file written submissions and directed the matter to be listed in 10 days....