Skip to main content

Demand for including anti-atrocities Act under 9th Schedule to "protect" it from any future judicial review

By Our Representative
Taking a tough stance following the April 2 Bharat bandh, India's top Dalit-Adivasi apex body fighting for the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, or POA Act, and it's 2015 amendment, has demanded that the POA Act be included in the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, so that it gets the protection in the matter of judicial review.
The top apex body's statement comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court declining to stay it's controversial March 20 ruling, which had said the POA Act was being used to blackmail innocent people. Dalit organizations across the country called for Bharat bandh on April 2 to protest against the ruling. Nine persons, seven of them Dalits, died during the bandh, which turned violent in several parts of India.
While the Government of India filed a review petition in the Supreme Court of India, the National Coalition for Strengthening POA Act (NCSPA), a platform of more than 500 Dalit and Adivasi civil society organisations, regretted, "The highest court of the country denied an urgent hearing of the matter."
NCSPA said, "Later the review petition was admitted after mentioning the urgency before the Chief Justice. The same bench heard the matter around 2 PM on Wednesday, but declined to give a stay on its verdict dated March 20 and further asked the parties to file written submissions to hear the matter after 10 days."
Calling the trend "frightening", NCSPA said, "Article 31-B of the Ninth Schedule will ensure that POA Act 1989 and POA Amendment Act 2015 and its provisions once included cannot be deemed to be void, or ever to have become void, on the ground that such Act or its provisions are inconsistent with the Constitution."
Under such a situation, said NCSPA, that the Act and its provisions "cannot be curtailed by any judgment or order of any court", adding, "Presently, 284 legislations are included in Ninth Schedule, and these relate to the zamindari abolition, state level land reforms, reservation in educational institutions, the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976", and so on.
NCSPA said, it is deeply disappointed the Central and state governments tried to forcefully quell the peaceful protestors all over the country on April 2, adding, "We are anguished that the police personnel used excessive force with the protestors and resorted to lathi charge to disperse the peaceful protesters."
Pointing out that "several protesters were injured and killed in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh", it added, in Uttar Pradesh alone, "448 people were detained". All this suggested the "incapability of the police personnel and lack of sincerity of the central government and judiciary, towards the repressive ruling."
NCSPA underscored, "People at the grassroots and many Dalit and people's organisations are losing confidence and faith in the will and ability of the government and the judiciary in addressing these core and critical issues facing the country", especially when the recent trend shows that "there is an increase in atrocities against Dalits by 5.5% in 2016 (40,801) over 2015 (38,670), and increase in atrocities against Adivasis by 4.7% in 2016 (6,568) over 2015 (6,276)."
Asking the Government of India to "urgently move a reference to the larger bench of the Supreme Court on the judgment dated March 20", NCSPA said, it should seek to "revisit the judgment, rescind the directions, expunge certain observations therein, and present a holistic picture such as the socio-historical background of the Act."

Comments

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.