Analysis of the Supreme Court to judgment to withdraw its earlier judgment on SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act for UPSC CSE/IAS prelims and mains

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Username akashaky
on 04/10/2019

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The Present Context

Recently, the supreme court has withdrawn its judgment related to the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act that they had diluted in March 2018. In this article, we shall discuss the provisions diluted by the Supreme Court and will discuss what happens when the judiciary interferes in the legislative domain. Note that this article is an analysis of the Editorial that was published in THE HINDU newspaper.

Importance of this legislation and provisions diluted by the Supreme Court

  • This legislation protects the SC/ST from the atrocities committed by the upper caste.
  • The Supreme court added 3 safeguards in order to prevent the false complains made by SC/ST.
  • The safeguards are:
  • (1.) The Supreme court diluted the bail provisions that were initially present in this legislation.
  • (2.) The approval of the appointing authority will be necessary in order to arrest an individual under this law.
  • (3.) In all the complains made by SC/STs, a preliminary inquiry is necessary for further procedures.

What happened after this judgment

  • This controversial judgment leads to massive protest of SC/ST communities and voice against this judgment were also raised in the parliament.
  • The government had amended the prevention of the SC/ST atrocities Act in order to neutralize the safeguards that were added by the Supreme Court.
  • Also, in order to counter this protest, the central government had filed a review petition for this decision in the Supreme Court.

Note: The supreme court has recently passed a judgment and is decided to withdraw its earlier judgment and has said that the false cases using this act are not due to caste factor but due to human failure

The lesson of the whole incident

  • The withdrawal of the earlier judgment indicates that special laws are required in order to protect SC/STs because of the long history of discrimination that these communities have faced and are still facing.
  • Such legislations are needed in order to protect them and the withdrawal of such legislation represents a case of injustice.
  • The judiciary should not extend its reach to the legislative domain because most of the time such outreach of judiciary in the legislative domain weakens democracy.
  • The judiciary should understand their judgment and directive should never contemporary to the existing law and they should not try to replace existing law
  • Such decisions of judiciary threaten the balance of powers between judiciary and legislature.

Hope it helps.

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