The A-G told the court the judgment has led to more crimes being committed against dalits without registration of FIR and arrest being made.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rejected the Centre’s demand for a stay on its verdict on the SC/ST Act, saying that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have full protection and the March 20 judgment has not diluted it in any manner.
A Bench of Justices A.K. Goel and Uday Lalit also strongly disagreed with the Centre’s contention that its March 20 verdict had led to loss of lives in the violence that had broken out later in several states.
Attorney-general K.K. Venugopal said, “This had completely shaken the confidence of SC/STs, who feel insecure and crimes have increased in the last one month. He said, “rightly or wrongly people are agitated and there are nine deaths.”
“Preliminary enquiry before registration of FIR is not a must in every case. The superintendent of police has to only satisfy that prime face evidence exists for registration of FIR. Such an enquiry can be done in one day. We are not suggesting that guilty under the Act should not be punished. We have to see whether he is falsely implicated or not. We have not said don’t register FIR, we have only said please check the facts in the complaint,” Justice Goel told the A-G.
The A-G told the court the judgment has led to more crimes being committed against dalits without registration of FIR and arrest being made. He cited recent incidents of how Dalit bridegrooms were pulled down from their horses and beaten up by mobs, as upper caste people did not like dalits riding a horse.
Justice Goel observed, “Our judgment did not incite anyone to commit crimes. The SC/ST community has the full protection of this Court. Why can’t authorities take action, wherever crimes take place? There should be system of immediate punishment. Commun-ities should learn to respect each other,”
Justice Lalit told the A-G, “We have not diluted the Act in any manner. We have only taken note of the fact that right to life and liberty cannot be taken away on some absurd facts. This court has stepped in to protect the rights and to fill the gaps in the law.”