No Intention of Amending SC/ST Act, Says Government

New Delhi, Feb 14: The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the government has no intention of amending the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Centre, through additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, told the apex court that the law cannot be tweaked to incorporate punishment for false complaints.

After the Supreme Court asked whether false complaints under this law should be punishable, Singh said, “Object of the Act is to prevent (the) commission of offences of atrocities against members of SCs and STs and it would not be in consonance with the intent of the Act to provide for punishment for members of SCs and STs for falsely implicating a person.” Singh was quoted as saying by Times of India.

This means that anyone from the SC/ST community cannot be punished for filing a false complaint against a person even if the court finds the complaint superficial.

Persons facing false complaints under the Act can only be given relief if it is invoked by higher authorities denying punishment for a prosecution if they believe the complaint is false. Singh said that the Centre “remains fully committed to ensure proper, meaningful and effective implementation of the 1989 Act along with its amendment carried out in 2015 and is also duty bound to take all necessary steps from time to time”.

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