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SC to hear on Oct 3 pleas challenging validity of amendments to SC/ST Act

SC to hear on Oct 3 pleas challenging validity of amendments to SC/ST Act

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said it would hear on October 3 the pleas challenging the validity of amendments to the SC/ST Act last year that had nullified its verdict diluting the provisions of arrest under the law.

However, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said it would not accept any written submissions from any party on the Centre's plea seeking review of the top court's March 20, 2018 verdict.

The apex court, which on September 18 reserved its verdict on the Centre's review petition, had indicated that it would pass certain directions to "bring in equality" as per the provisions of law and asked the parties to file their written submissions by September 20.

When the pleas challenging the validity of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018 came up for hearing before the bench on Wednesday, one of the lawyers said he wants to file short written submission on the Centre's review petition. "The issue of review petition is over. The other issue can be considered," the bench said, adding, "we are not permitting you to file written submissions. Everything is over on our side on the review". The bench said it would hear on October 3 the separate plea challenging the validity of the 2018 amendments.

The apex court had in January this year refused to stay the 2018 amendments to the SC/ST Act, which restored the provision that no anticipatory bail be granted to the accused in offence lodged under this law. Parliament on August 9 last year had passed the bill to overturn the apex court judgement concerning certain safeguards against arrest under the SC/ST law.

In its 2018 verdict, the apex court had taken note of the rampant misuse of the stringent SC/ST Act against government servants and private individuals and said that there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

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