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The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018

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  • The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Thaawarchand Gehlot, on August 3, 2018.  It seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.  The Act prohibits the commission of offences against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and establishes special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims. 
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court stated that for persons accused of committing an offence under the Act, approval of the Senior Superintendent of Police will be required before an arrest is made.  Further, the Deputy Superintendent of Police may conduct a preliminary enquiry to find out whether there is a prima facie case under the Act. 
  • The Bill states that the investigating officer will not require the approval of any authority for the arrest of an accused.  Further, it provides that a preliminary enquiry will not be required for the registration of a First Information Report against a person accused under the Act.
  • The Act states that persons accused of committing an offence under the Act cannot apply for anticipatory bail.  The Bill seeks to clarify that this provision will apply despite any judgements or orders of a court that provide otherwise.

 

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