September 21, 2020

Bihar MLAs protest Supreme Court order on SC/ST Act

Bihar legislators, belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes, on Wednesday protested against the recent Supreme Court order on provisions of the SC/ST Act, and forced adjournment of the Assembly for half a day.

The protesting MLAs later sat on a dharna outside the Assembly demanding that the Centre file a review petition against the order.

Earlier on March 20, the Supreme Court had ordered that there should be no immediate arrest based on a complaint filed under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Before making arrest of a public servant under the Act, “a preliminary probe by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent is a must,” the court had added in its order.

“The verdict was tantamount to the weaker sections being deprived of an opportunity to get justice and that the intention of the Centre too was suspected as no attempts were being made to file a review petition challenging the order,” said the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA Shiv Chandra Ram as SC/ST MLAs from other parties too joined him.

When Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhury turned down their demand for an adjournment motion on the issue during the zero hour, SC/ST legislators of all the parties joined the protest. The Speaker told the protesting MLAs that this was not the place where “laws are being framed”, while Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shrawan Kumar said that the “issue falls outside the ambit of the Assembly and it would not be proper to hold a debate on it inside the State Assembly.”

As the commotion continued in the Assembly, the Speaker adjourned the House till lunch.

However, the protesting SC/ST MLAs sat on a dharna outside in the lawn and demanded that the Centre file a review petition against the apex court order at the earliest. “We demand that the Centre file a review petition, otherwise its intention too would be suspected,” RJD MLA Shiv Chandra Ram told journalists.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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