The Supreme Court today recalled its direction in the March 20, 2018 verdict which had virtually diluted provisions of arrest under the SC/ST Act. A bench of justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai said the struggle of SC/ST people for equality is still not over in the country.
The bench said SC/ST people still face untouchability, abuse and are being socially outcast. The apex court further said the Constitution provides for protection of SC/ST people under Article 15 but they still face social abuse and discrimination.
Dealing with the misuse of provisions of SC/ST Act and lodging of false cases, the bench said it is not due to the caste system but due to human failure. The top court had on September 18 criticised the verdict delivered by its two-judge bench on March 20 last year and had observed whether a judgment could be passed against the spirit of the Constitution.
Indicating that it would pass certain directions to “bring in equality” as per provisions of the law, the top court had said people belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are subjected to “discrimination” and “untouchability” even after over 70 years of Independence.
Taking a serious view of the manual scavenging situation and deaths of SC/ST people engaged in such work, the top court had said nowhere in the world people are sent to “gas chambers to die”.
“It is against the spirit of the Constitution. Can an order be passed against the statute and the Constitution just because there is abuse of the law? Can you doubt any person on the basis of caste? Even a general category person can file a false FIR,” the bench had said.