Centre tells Supreme Court its verdict on SC/ST Act is ‘judicial legislation’, has caused anger, disharmony

NEW DELHI: The Central government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that through its verdict in the SC/ST Act, the apex court has resorted to “judicial legislation”. The Centre also told court that its verdict dealt with a very sensitive issue which has caused anger, unease and a sense of disharmony in the country.

The Centre also told SC that there is a separation of powers between legislature, executive and judiciary which it is inviolable. The government said that the verdict has failed to fill gaps in the SC/ST Act and thus should be withdrawn.

The government had earlier also said that it is unhappy with the SC order adding that it “differs” with the verdict. It had also questioned why the Union of India was not made a “formal” party in the case.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that the judgement is “virtually redoing the entire architecture of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act”.

“We feel that a sensitive case of this nature required a more in depth consideration with requisite consideration of objective data to come to a conclusion as to whether the law is being abused or there is a need to give protection to the continued, unfortunate instances of injustice against Dalits,” he had said.

The apex court had on March 20 said that on “several occasions”, innocent citizens were being termed as accused and public servants deterred from performing their duties, which was never the intention of the legislature while enacting the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The top court had said that unless the exclusion of anticipatory bail is limited to “genuine cases and inapplicable to cases where there is no prima facie case was made out, there will be no protection available to innocent citizens”.