Ruling on SC/ST Act is causing great damage, Centre tells Supreme Court

April 13, 2018:The Hindu

The Supreme Court judgment banning immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring Dalits is causing disharmony and “great damage” to the country, the Centre said on Thursday.

“This case dealing with an issue of very sensitive nature has caused a lot of commotion in the country and is also creating anger, unease and a sense of disharmony… the confusion created by this judgment may have to be corrected by reviewing the judgment and recalling the directions issued by the court,” the Centre submitted in a written note.

The government said the “confusion deserves to be corrected” and the March 20 judgment is “directly in conflict” with the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989.

The judgment led to mass protests and violence on April 2, which claimed several lives across the country. The Centre filed a plea to review the judgment that day.
The government dismissed the reasoning given by the Supreme Court that it had the power to declare the law when none exists.

The Centre’s note said the Supreme Court is bound to uphold the written Constitution, which divides power among the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Each of the three arms of governance has to remain within its own terrain. The judgment is nothing but judicial legislation.

The government said the Supreme Court, through its March 20 verdict, had encroached upon area reserved for Parliament and laid down a law contrary to a statute passed by Parliament.

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