New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Centre’s demand for a stay on its verdict on the SC/ST Act and said it favoured “100 per cent” the protection of the rights of these communities and punishing those guilty of atrocities against them.
The top court also strongly disagreed with the Centre’s contention that its March 20 verdict had led to loss of lives in the violence that had broken out later in several states.
The Centre told the top court that its March 20 verdict, laying guidelines putting certain safeguards on the immediate arrest of a person for offences, countermanded the law enacted by the legislature and should thus be stayed and the case referred to a larger bench.
However, a bench of Justices Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit refused to stay the verdict and said various aspects and earlier judgements of the top court were considered before arriving at this conclusion.
“It’s not that the judgement says there shall be no registration of crime. It’s not that accused shall not be arrested. The safeguards were for the purpose that a person should not be readily arrested or an innocent punished because there was no provision of anticipatory bail under the SC/ST Act,” the bench said.