The SC in its April 3 hearing said the judgement is only meant to safeguard the rights of innocent people without affecting the rights of the marginal communities. "We have only reiterated the settled law of arrest, the settled law under CrPC". Moreover, the move came on the face of not just nationwide outrage and protest by the Opposition but also rising discontent from within the BJP and allies. "Most likely, people who protested did not even read our judgment", the court added.
Normal life was thrown out of gear in more than 10 States, a lot of them BJP-ruled, with widespread violence during the protests called by Dalit organisations on Monday with poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan bearing the maximum brunt.
Meanwhile the apex court refused for an urgent hearing on a plea for stay and review of its verdict. Responding to Attorney General of India KK Venugopal observations, the top court said, "Innocent should not be punished or thrown behind the bars without verification'".
Delivering a verdict on 20th March, the Supreme Court declared that State/Central Govt. employees could no more be arrested on charges filed by the under the provisions of the above-said Act.
However, the Centre was in agreement with the view that the provision of anticipatory bail be made available even in cases lodged under the SC/ST Act. Markets and educational institutions were forced to shut down in several areas and sporadic violence was also reported.
"We wish to emphatically say that the provision of reservation for the Dalits in the said Act is firm and will remain firm".
"I have already registered the state government's deep concern and strong disapproval of the SC order in a letter to the Union social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and Union minister for tribal affairs Jual Oram", Mr Balan read out as part of the resolution. You can do it in ten minutes or half an hour and register the FIR.
The apex court further clarified that while there can be no immediate arrest of a person upon a complaint, under the Act the complainant is entitled to monetary compensation. "The pain and injury caused due to commission of an offence against them is the worst form of violation of Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution and requires strict implementation of the law", the petition stated.
Representing the government, Attorney General KK Venugopal argued that court proceeded on the basis of the Act being abused and misused and which can not be grounds for diluting the Act.