The Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of India issued the following statement on March 23, 2018 underlining the fact that the poor and the exploited need judicial protection:
The Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of India expresses serious concern over the Supreme Court’s decision to lay down stringent safeguards in the enforcement of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, at a time when the attacks on the minorities, especially on Muslims and SCs-STs are rampant in the country with the tacit support of the ruling party and its leading members.
The highest court in the country should be a custodian of the rights of the centuries old exploited. But the two judge bench of the Supreme Court took the plea on March 20 that the SC/ST Act is being abused by vested interests for political or personal reasons and that procedural safeguards were necessary to avoid false implication of innocents under the Act. The bench has proposed provisions including anticipatory bail for the accused and a preliminary enquiry before registering a case.
The party feels that the apex court’s apprehension about misuse of the law in the light of growing atrocities across the country seems to be more exaggerated. As a matter of fact many cases of atrocities are not reported. Those reported and filed cases are not getting speedy justice. Many are let off. Very few punishments are reported. There should be checks and counter checks which are essential in the cases of all laws against atrocities, but not to the extent that the avowed aim of the law itself gets defeated.
The Union Government should go in appeal against the two-judge bench verdict and ensure that stringent measures are taken against the perpetrators of atrocities on Dalits the downtrodden.