NEW DELHI: The Central government is planning to bring an ordinance to overturn the Supreme Court verdict putting safeguards on arrests under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and subsequently introduce a bill to insulate it from further judicial scrutiny. The government is likely to introduce the bill in monsoon session of Parliament to incorporate the legislation in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, laws under which cannot be challenged in courts.Through the ordinance, the government will reintroduce provisions of the act which it feels were diluted by the Supreme Court verdict in March this year. The dilution’ triggered massive protests by various Dalit and political outfits, during which nearly a dozen people were killed. “While the bill is a permanent arrangement to ensure that the SC/ST Act’s provisions are not diluted again, the ordinance is an interim arrangement to overturn the ruling,” a senior government functionary explained.The proposed ordinance would make it clear that notwithstanding any judgement or any other law in force, the provisions of the act shall remain valid. “Once promulgated, this would mean the ordinance would overturn the SC order,” a Law Ministry official said. “The next hearing is on May 16 and much would depend on that,” said a senior official in the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.
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