AMN / NEW DELHI
Parliament today passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, with the Rajya Sabha approving it by voice vote. Lok Sabha has already passed it.
The amended bill has done away with the provision of seeking prior permission for the arrest of those committing atrocities against Dalits.
Replying to a debate on the bill in the Rajya Sabha, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said, the government is committed to the welfare of the poor and protecting the interests of the Dalits. He said, under the legislation, there is a provision of setting up special courts to deal with the cases related to atrocities against SCs and STs.
Mr Gehlot rejected opposition charges that the bill has been brought under any pressure saying the government has taken several steps for the welfare of the weaker section of society.
Earlier, initiating the discussion in the post-lunch session, Kumari Selja of the Congress alleged that highest number of crimes against SCs and STs have taken place in the BJP-ruled states.
Dr Kirodi Lal Meena of the BJP called for greater representation of SCs and STs in the higher judiciary and demanded the abolition of the Collegium system.