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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.