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SC Upholds SC/ST Amendment Act, No Inquiry Before Lodging an FIR

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the 2018 amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which had among other things reintroduced the bar on anticipatory bail to those accused under the Act. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said a preliminary inquiry is not essential before lodging an FIR under the act and the approval of senior police officials is not needed. The Act also does not provide for anticipatory bail to the accused being charged with SC/ST Act. Courts can quash FIRs in exceptional circumstances.

Petitions were filed in the SC to challenge the amended law of the central government which was rejected by the court on Monday and approved the amended law of the center. The court said that the provision of immediate arrest will continue in this act and no accused will get anticipatory bail. It is known that the amended Act prohibits the grant of anticipatory bail to any accused arrested under the SC/ST Act. On this matter, the Bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Vineet Sharan and Justice Ravindra Bhatt ruled 2-1.

On 20 March 2018, the SC immediately stopped the FIR and arrest on complaints received due to misuse of SC-ST Act. After this, the Central Government amended the law to overturn this order and the validity of which was challenged in the Supreme Court.

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