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BJP MP Udit Raj Seeks Meetings With PM Narendra Modi to Push Review Petition on Supreme Court's SC/ST Verdict

A view of the Supreme Court building.

A view of the Supreme Court building.

BJP MP Udit Raj has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask the government to file a review petition. Raj also has meetings scheduled with other MPs and leaders in order to work on getting the petition filed, as it exposes the "bias and prejudice of the system".

Eram Agha

New Delhi: Political leaders across the country have expressed dismay over the Supreme Court judgment that dilutes the stringent provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

BJP MP Udit Raj has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask the government to file a review petition. Raj also has meetings scheduled with other MPs and leaders in order to work on getting the petition filed, as it exposes the "bias and prejudice of the system".

A review petition is the only way to roll back an order of the apex court.

The Supreme Court altered the basic structure of the SC/ST Act, stating that a FIR cannot be filed in a case under the Act until enquiry is made.

In case of employees, the appointing authority has to give in writing the reason for the arrest and for the public in general, the SSP has to permit the arrest. A magistrate can extend the custody only if the written permission is secured. So far, a case under the SC/ST Act would mean an automatic FIR and arrest.

Talking to News18, Raj conveyed his dismay and said, “This judgment of the Supreme Court is not only unfortunate but also a fraud with caste prejudice. No law should be misused but it should also not be diluted or unutilised.”

The MP went on to state that an appointing authority would not always give in writing the permission to arrest his junior. “If the senior and junior enjoy a good rapport, the authority may not give in writing the permission to arrest his subordinate. The employee concerned could then resort to other methods like bribery or political interference to not be put in jail,” said Raj.

The leader went on to wonder aloud if this was the only act that was being misused and said, “The Anti-Dowry law has always been much more misused.”

Udit Raj even went on to corroborate his claims and said, “It has been found that about 64,000 males committed suicide due to the misuse of the Anti-Dowry law. The Act was slapped indiscriminately even if the cause was not dowry-related. There have been cases where the implicated relatives had no connection with the affairs of the family, so much so, that some of the relatives reside outside India.”

According to Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, out of the 361 dowry cases in 2015, 293 were false.

The BJP leader further said that ever since Section 376 was strengthened, men were afraid of meeting a woman alone or in some other place. “A union minister told me this,” said Raj.

According to National Crime Bureau Report (NCRB), atrocities on SCs and STs have increased 66 percent from 2007 to 2017. During this period, among other atrocities, six Dalit women are raped in India every 15 minutes.

Madhya Pradesh leads the list and conviction in such cases is between 2-6 percent. “After this judgment, the Prevention of Atrocities Act will get further diluted. The Constituent Assembly has been entrusted to make laws and the judiciary is supposed to interpret them. Currently, the judiciary is making more laws than the Parliament,” said Raj.

He further added that the SC delivered the verdict based on the fact that the conviction in these cases was low. “The apex court could have looked at it in the way that fewer convictions should lead to strengthening the act further. This is subjective and depends on how one looks at things. The government should immediately push for a review petition. It is unfortunate that a law enacted by Parliament is being diluted and altered."


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