The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled governments of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on Tuesday withdrew directives issued to implement the Supreme Court order on the new procedure for registration of cases and arrest under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Atrocities) Act.
The chief ministers of the two states said the circular to enforce the Supreme Court order was issued without their knowledge and their respective state governments will also file a review petition in the apex court. The Centre and the Kerala government have already filed review petitions, while the Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday decided to follow suit.
The Supreme Court order had led to a Bharat Bandh by Dalit organisations on April 2, in which 11 persons were killed in different parts of the country. The court on March 20 had laid down guidelines to prevent the alleged misuse of the SC/ST Act.
In “Our state has been always sensitive towards SCs and STs and hence the order (April 6) has been taken back. We will appeal against decision of Supreme Court just like the Centre,” Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said in Raipur.
In Jaipur, the home department in a statement said chief minister Vasundhara Raje had directed the order be revoked and the state government be made a party in the review petition filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court against the ‘dilution’ of SC/ST law.
Earlier, Raje told media persons that the orders were issued without her knowledge and said the state government is committed towards the welfare of SCs and STs.
The Madhya Pradesh government has not taken back the orders issued by the police headquarters following Supreme Court judgment, state home minister Bhupendra Singh clarified on Tuesday night.
The clarification came after reports said the state had followed Chhattisgarh and Rajashthan.
An official release issued by the state publicity department quoting the home Minister said that all action related to SC\ST Atrocities Act would be on the basis of the Supreme Court order and the review petition filed by the Union government in this regard.
The Tamil Nadu government also announced that it will move the apex court. The decision was arrived at a meeting chaired by chief minister K Palaniswami with his cabinet colleagues, including his deputy O Panneerselvam, an official release said.
Indicating that more states will move the apex court, home ministry officials said state governments are with the Centre on the Supreme Court order.
“The Centre has made it abundantly clear that there should be no dilution of the SC/ST Act. It has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court. As far as states are concerned, they are also on board. They are in touch with the Centre and many of them are taking steps. Some have already announced that they will associate with the Centre,” a home ministry official said.